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Child abuse work has attracted an enormous amount of bad publicity in recent years which has increasingly brought serious disadvantages not only to the children and families involved, but also to social and other workers in the field. Social workers have been manoeuvred into a narrower form of state intervention that may be counter-productive at times, leaving them widely criticized and demoralized and thus less able to help children.;This text presents a major and possible controversial re-assessment of child abuse work in Britain since the early 1970s. It draws on evidence from a wide range of areas: recent social and political history, changes in child care law, the theory base for much child abuse work, the professional development of social work and the national pressure group PAIN (Parents Against Injustice). These areas are explored before moving on to a proposed alternative approach to child abuse work where prevention and support are given priority over 'panic and rescue'. The legal, political and professional implications of this alternative approach are considered in detail, making the book a valuable resource for a wide range of students and professionals interested in child abuse and child care law.