child care


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child care

  1. (generically) any matter associated with the upbringing and welfare of children, both familial and in relation to welfare services. Sociologists have concerned themselves with aspects of both. Studies of child care have included a focus on SOCIALIZATION historically and comparatively across class and cultural groups. Similarly, issues such as nursery provision, the educational system, primary health care and poverty in relation to childrens welfare have all attracted much sociological attention. See also CHILD DEVELOPMENT, CHILDHOOD.
  2. (more narrowly) the role of the child-care officer (see the Seebohm Report), a SOCIAL WORKER who has a duty to investigate any situation in which a child's welfare is thought to be at risk as a result of abuse, neglect or desertion or because a child is offending or is deemed to be beyond control. See also CHILD ABUSE.
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