Roy Parker reflects on the reform of children's services in the wake of the 1948 Children Act and the role of children's officers and children's committees charged with its implementation in the period 1948–1970. He examines the backgrounds of these officers, many of whom
were women seen for the first time in senior positions, methods of recruitment and how the performance of officers and committees was assessed. He also discusses some of the problems they faced, such as how to shift care from residential establishments to foster homes, overloaded caseloads
and substandard children's accommodation, and considers whether any lessons can be learned from the past.