Children under the Care of the Scottish Poor Law, 1880-1929

MacDonald, Helen Jane (1994) Children under the Care of the Scottish Poor Law, 1880-1929. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis contributes to the debate about the division of responsibility between parents and the state towards children through a survey of the development of child welfare policy in Scotland under the Poor Law. The emergence of a distinctive Scottish practice was characterised by an intrusive approach to the family and reliance on the boarding out of pauper children to foster parents. To illustrate this, the administration of policy at both central and local level is examined and is compared with English Poor Law policy. The focus of the thesis is in the period 1880-1929 although the earlier sections provide a background to the reform of the Scottish Poor Law in 1845. Section one explores the shaping of child care policy under the 1845 Act and the arrangements for its administration. Section Two looks more closely at the implementation of policy at local level and the evolution of discretionary and legislative intervention in parent-child relations. Section Three evaluates the application and effectiveness of Poor Law child care with boarding out as the main method and poorhouse provision as the 'last resort.' What emerges is the existence of an approach to child welfare in Scotland which drew on traditional practice but no less responded to contemporary concern about the effects of social and economic change on children. Moreover, Scottish policy proved to be an important prototype in the framing of English Poor Law child care legislation. The study concludes by examining why the Poor Law care of children was discontinued, but argues that it nonetheless left a continuing legacy in modern Scottish child care policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Anne Crowther
Keywords: Public policy, Public administration, European history, Individual & family studies
Date of Award: 1994
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1994-74728
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2019 16:57
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2019 16:57

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