Society’s historical role in the care of ‘looked-after’ children


Children in care and how society looks after them will be the focus of an inaugural lecture at the University of Lincoln’s Hull campus on 6 May.


From the Nile to the Hull: the Flow of Ideas about Caring for the Children of Others is the title of the talk by the University’s Deputy Head of School in Health and Social Care, Nigel Horner.


Nigel will trace the development of trends and patterns. He will show that whilst much has changed, much also remains the same, and that our contemporary society remains just as unsure as ever as to what to do with the ‘children of others’.


“There has always been a need for some children to be looked after by someone other than their biological parents, and perhaps there always will be,” said Nigel. “The care of the children of others has long been a cornerstone of social work’s established role in British society, but this is a relatively recent development. Historically, the relationship between the child in need, their family of origin, those who assume care of the child and the agency that brokers this process has taken many varied and different forms.


“How this process begins, how families gain access to care from other sources, how ‘abandoned’ and ‘rescued’ children are constructed and portrayed by the particular cultural epoch are all facets of the process that merit exploration.”


Nigel Horner began his career in social work and social care in the early 1970s. His particular interests are in the history of social work and care, and the theories that lie behind current practice.


The lecture takes place at 6pm on 6 May at the Derek Crothall Building, George Street, Hull. Registration takes place at 5.30pm. The event is free of charge but places should be booked by calling 01522 837008 or emailing