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ItemThe institutional care of the dependent childMathieson, J. K. W ( 1959)Research and practice develop together as part of an overall pattern to which each brings its distinctive contribution and within which each is influenced by the other. Even before a research problem reaches full solution its hypotheses tend to affect practice and changes in practice tend to modify the conduct of research likewise, local research and practice may take colour from progressive thinking overseas. The present investigation into Victorian institutional child care was commenced in 1956. Since then there have been some significant happenings including the inception of a number of single family homes for dependent children and the publication of the Merritt Report on the training of child care staff Already Victorian institutional child care is moving towards the achievement of some of Merritt' s recommendations. My own investigation takes note of these changes and, in general, is indicative of the situation existing in Victoria at the beginning of 1959. In the months which have elapsed since then during the typing of the manuscript, the process of change has continued. As with the reconstitution of the Australian Social Welfare C�uncil2"to be the more truly national Australian Council of Social Service, some matters denoted as desirable already have become fact. In other cases, as with the Whatmore Plan to bring together Child Welfare, Youth Welfare, and Penal Services, possible future advance has produced present ferment; in consequence some of the suggestions made in my study will need some modification, notably concerning the time table for implementing staff training. However it seems probable that the issue raised may be helpful in clarifying further planning, whatever detailed form child care may take or staff training follow.