Four short papers were commissioned to provide brief overviews of each jurisdiction, focusing on children’s’ services. The four countries selected were USA, Canada, Australia and Denmark. The work was intended to support and expand the frame of reference for the UK-based research activities associated with this project, and whilst these countries were chosen on the basis of some degree of similarity with, as well as difference from, UK children’s services, they were not intended to give a comprehensive overview of global perspectives. Authors were asked to conduct a brief review of relevant literature in order to identify whether ‘systems leadership’ was a recognised and/or meaningful construct in their context, and to carry out ‘light touch’ case studies of local initiatives to illuminate key elements of effective systems leadership.
Each paper was prepared independently and each has its own emphasis and focus.