Shurlee Swain
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Margot Hillel
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The legacy of the survivors
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The struggle to reconcile the narratives of darkness and light that surround child rescue has bedevilled many of the recent enquiries into the legacy of out-of-home care. Changing trends in publishing have, from the latter part of the twentieth century, created an opportunity for the survivors of out-of-home care to tell their stories. The image of the 'proper family' haunts many survivor accounts. Despite their adherence to the family model, few settings were able to reproduce the affective ties that the children were seeking. Child rescue's emphasis on the need for discipline added to the harshness of institutional life. The disclosure of widespread institutional abuse has led to some caution amongst child welfare authorities, but it has done little to suppress the urge to rescue amongst a public confronted with stories of family dysfunction.

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Child, nation, race and empire

Child rescue discourse, England, Canada and Australia, 1850–1915


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