The Cabinet Papers banner

Juvenile offenders

Juvenile offenders

In 1965 and 1968, the government produced White Papers on juvenile offenders. They considered the relationship between children, the family and delinquency, and supported measures for family support, prevention and rehabilitation. They formed the basis of the Children and Young Persons Act of 1969. The act was the subject of a White Paper in 1976, which considered inadequacies in prevention and the treatment of juvenile offenders. Government became increasingly focused on delinquency, and more on young people as a societal problem than on the problems of young people.

Mental health services

Before the Second World War, care of the mentally ill or disabled was the responsibility of local authorities, both institutionally and within the community. From 1948, control of mental health institutions was transferred from local government to the National Health Service, but local authorities remained responsible for community care services.

During the 1950s, there was increasing concern about conditions in mental institutions, in which patients were incarcerated without therapy or rehabilitation. Professionals favoured community-based treatment more and more, and the Royal Commission on Mental Health in 1957 and the Mental Health Act of 1959 marked the decline of mental hospitals and the rise of community care. In 1971, a policy paper prioritised the improvement of local authority services for mental illness. A further White Paper in 1975 comprehensively considered the provision of services for mental illness.

Consolidation of local authority social services

Progress in improving local authority services for children, the mentally disabled and the elderly was slow during the 1950s. This was in part due to fragmentation in the provision of the various services. In 1969, the Seebohm Committee on Local Authority Personal and Allied Services recommended that these personal social services should be amalgamated into a single social work function.