Carney, T 1985, 'Reforming child welfare: Diverting by-ways on the road to utopia?', Australian & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 237-256.
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This article, written from a less than detached standpoint by the chairperson of the body concerned, takes the recently completed review of child welfare practice and legislation in the Australian State of Victoria, as a case study of the contours, and of the factors which shape, law reform in areas of social policy. Substantive issues dealt with in the body of the Report1 will not be addressed here. Rather, the article considers some of the reasons which might explain why the task was not entrusted to one of the existing structures for the review of law and social policy in this State, and it canvasses some of the features which may make review by such a free-standing committee the preferred approach when reviewing social policy. The main theme to be explored is that of the role of reviews in accelerating (or inhibiting) the process of change in a legal, welfare practice and public policy context. To this end the article addresses such matters as: the significance of the composition of the review body; its techniques of consultation with the public and with government; its dealings with government and major centres of power; and related matters which bear on its capacity to discharge its basic mandate. The contextual pressures which favour system inertia, or which may transform reform measures into something other than what was intended by the proponents of change, will also be alluded to. It will be argued that the model of expert independent committee suffers from a vulnerability to the effects of external factors and relationships. These may leach away much of its capacity to undertake a thorough, detached evaluation of its specified field, and preclude it from building up significant momentum for change. Nevertheless, it is contended that these weak points are capable of being shored up. As a consequence it is concluded that this model is superior to its competitors when a significant area of social policy is thought to be ripe for evaluation and change. © 1...
KIRKBY, D 1985, 'PRODUCTION OR REPRODUCTION, AN ECONOMIC-HISTORY OF WOMEN IN AUSTRALIA, 1788-1850 - ALFORD,K', UNIV MELBOURNE, pp. 441-443.