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Written as a result of the information which has come to light concerning revelations of widespread sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children in children's homes, this review two main purposes. The first is to review safeguards introduced for England and Wales by the Children Act 1989 at its implementation in 1991, and further measures since take to protect children's residential homes, foster care and boarding schools. The second is to assess whether these safeguards are the most effective that can realistically be designed to protect such children form abuse and other harm and whether they are being satisfactorily enforced. Recommendations on how to improve the lives of children in care are then given, as the text argues that the ultimate cost to society of not making improvements will be many times greater than the economic costs of restructuring the system.