Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the book. It briefly summarises the main findings of Combatting Child Abuse: International Perspectives and Trends (Gilbert, 1997) including the main dimensions of the child protection and family service orientations and their possible relationship with the different welfare state regimes identified by Esping-Anderson. In order to locate the analysis of the ten different countries child welfare systems within this broader context the chapter also analyzes the different levels of social expenditure on family policy from 1980 onwards drawing on a range of different OECD data. The data compares the individual levels of spending for each of the ten countries and the average rates of spending for the countries grouped within the welfare state typology.
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