The Welfare of the Child: The Principle and the Law, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Welfare of the Child

The Principle and the Law, 1st Edition

By Kerry O’Halloran


325 pages

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Paperback: 9781138360808
pub: 2020-02-01
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 1st February 2020
Hardback: 9781138360778
pub: 2019-06-06
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429432934
pub: 2019-01-04
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First published in 1999, this book responds to the meaning given to the welfare principle attracts a great deal of controversy and explores the reasons for the controversy and examines the growing legal significance attached to the principle. In an illuminating and accessible manner, this informative volume:

  • provides a record of the milestones which have shaped the principles development by tracing its evolution over the centuries
  • discloses the essence of what has been termed 'the golden thread running through the common law'
  • provides a measure of the impact of the principle on the coherence of modern family law by assessing the significance of its present operational role and functions.

The welfare principle began as a common law principle forged in medieval England, yet it has informed the law relating to children in some of the most developed western societies. It is now being refracted through international legislative and judicial developments to challenge the future shape of family law in the UK. By considering the ways in which the legal system has shaped and been shaped by the principle, this invaluable book leads its readers to an appreciation of the content and structural influence of the welfare principle.


’…interesting and carefully written…provides a sound basis to contemplate the overarching principle governing the law relating to children…the book is extremely well written and is a very good read.’ Family Law ’This is an absorbing and thought-provoking examination of one of the fundamental principles of family law.’ ChildRIGHT ’…for those who want to know more than what the law says� about a particular situation this book provides fascinating insights and discusses important issues and dilemmas.’ Social Work Education

Table of Contents

Part 1. The Legal Origins of Child Welfare. 1. State Recognition of Child Welfare: Feudalism; the Common Law; and the Poor Laws. 2. Judicial Acknowledgement of Guardianship Duties: the Jurisdiction of Equity. 3. Legislative Endorsement of Child Welfare: Statutory Law Defines and Extends the Principle’s Role, Function and Weighting. Part 2. The Content and Structural Role of the Welfare Principle in the Legal System. 4. Welfare Interests and the Child. 5. The Legal System and Welfare Interests. 6. Identifying Welfare Interests. 7. Representing Welfare Interests. Part 3. Public Family Law. 8. Care and Supervision. 9. Control. 10. Protection. 11. Prevention and Promotion. Part 4. Private Family Law. 12. Parenting Arrangements: Uncontested Proceedings. 13. Parenting Arrangements: Contested Proceedings. 14. Adoption. Part 5. The Future Role of the Welfare Principle: An International Perspective. 15. International Influences and the Shaping of the Modern Welfare Principle in the UK. 16. Family Law and the Welfare Principle: Some Implications for the Future.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Family Law / Children