Sixty years ago this month an Act was passed that was to revolutionise the way that vulnerable children in Britain were protected by the State. The Children Act of 1948 has been described as “the most comprehensive and humane children's legislation in history”.
What is less well known is that the Act had its origins in a letter to The Times, published four years earlier — in July 1944, at the height of the Second World War. The reaction to its publication was so extraordinary — the paper estimated that no single subject throughout the war had led to so much correspondence that ministers were forced into action to strengthen the law.
As The Times says, the campaign that led to the 1948 Act was given great impetus by the death of Dennis O'Neill. I have written about this before.