Social policy and legislation for children and families

ED2016 Social Policy and Legislation for Children and Families

Essay title:

Critically analyse and assess the impact of government legislation and policy on the issues surrounding child protection since 1997 and, in this regard, consider the potential impacts of new legislation and policy brought in since 2010.

Some suggestions

Introduction – both options:

Provide a clear introduction in which you: a) state that the essay is concerned with the UK government’s social policy since 1997 (when New Labour came to power). Briefly demonstrate your understanding of what social policy is (define it in relation to government activity, notas an academic subject) and apply to the focus of your essay; b) set out how you will analyse/evaluate policy to address the essay title i.e. state which analytical tools you will be using (see Week 2 lecture notes). If you are using the UNCRC, explain why you are doing so (see Weeks 2 and 3 lecture notes).

Main part of essay – both options:

Make sure you provide a clear structure for your essay. The best way to do this is to use the understanding of the policy cycle to structure your work, (i.e. child poverty or child abuse), structure it as follows:

  1. Identification of social problem/need – define the issue (using government definitions where possible), provide statistics (relating to when New Labour came to power) and information on effects. Basically, in this section you need to argue/show why this issue is an important one for the government to address. This section needs to be very succinct as the main focus should be on analysing/evaluating policy to help address the essay title.
  2. Policy proposals – what did the government do to address the problem/need? You mustrefer to specific policy/legislation. Discuss policy/legislation chronologically i.e. in date order. You need to refer to policy both under the New Labour government and the Coalition government (in power since May 2010).
  3. Analysis/evaluation of policy and effects (this should be dealt with alongside ‘policy proposals’).


Pull together the main points in your essay to arrive at a pertinent conclusion in which you provide a response to the essay title/task. What are the threads that run throughout your essay? What does the future hold?

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