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Distributed for University of London Press

Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain

The history of child welfare through the eyes of children themselves. 
Children’s Experiences of Welfare in Modern Britain demonstrates how the young have been integral to the creation, delivery, and impact of welfare. The book brings together the very latest research on welfare as provided by the state, charities, and families in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. The ten chapters consider a wide range of investments in young people’s lives, including residential institutions, Commonwealth emigration schemes, hospitals and clinics, schools, social housing, and familial care. Drawing upon thousands of personal testimonies and oral histories—including a wealth of writing by children themselves—the book shows that we can only understand the history and impact of welfare if we listen to children’s experiences.

300 pages | 6 color plates | 6 1/2 x 9 3/4 | © 2021

Institute of Historical Research

History: British and Irish History

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Table of Contents


1. Children’s experiences of the Children’s Friend Society emigration scheme to the colonial Cape, 1833-41: snapshots from compliance to rebellion
Rebecca Swartz

2. ‘Their mother is a violent drunken woman who has been several times in prison’: ‘saving’ children from their families, 1850-1900
Gillian Lamb

3. ‘Dear Sir, remember me often if possible’: family, belonging, and identity for children in care in Britain, c. 1870-1920
Claudia Soares

4. Child philanthropy, family care and young bodies in Britain 1876-1914
Siân Pooley

5. ‘Everything was done by the clock’: agency in children’s convalescent homes, 1932-61
Maria Marven

6. ‘The Borough Council have done a great deal ... I hope they continue to do so in the future’: children, community and the welfare state, 1941-55
Jonathan Taylor

7. Welfare and constraint on children’s agency: the case of post-war UK child migration programmes to Australia
Gordon Lynch

8. ‘The school that I’d like’: children and teenagers write about education in England and Wales, 1945-79
Laura Tisdall

9. Making their own fun: children’s play in high-rise estates in Glasgow in the 1960s and 1970s
Valerie Wright

10. Teenagers, sex and the Brook Advisory Centres, 1964-85
Caroline Rusterholz

Postscript: Insights for policy-makers and practitioners

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