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The Children Act of 1989 was heralded by the Lord Chancellor as the most far-reaching reform of child care law in living memory. This book reports findings from a study undertaken on the implementation of the heart of the Act: provisions for helping children in need and their families.;This text focuses on how local authorities operationalize the concept of need contained in the Children Act 1989. Important issues addressed include: which children, and what levels of intervention are given priority? What services are provided? Are assessments based on children's needs or on local authorities' criteria for the provision of services? The research on which the book is based analyzed both policy and practice, and the book itself raises questions about the extent to which a vital part of the Children Act 1989 is being implemented. It concludes by suggesting ways by which children in need and their families might be helped more effectively.