The late David Wills spent a lifetime in the service of the so-called delinquent, the misfit, the maladjusted. He was the first Englishman to train as a psychiatric social worker and was well known for his books The Hawkspur Experiment, The Barns Experiment, etc.

Originally published in 1970, this book describes another experiment with a hostel for boys leaving schools for maladjusted children and lacking any settled home from which to enter the community. It demonstrates once again David Wills’s conviction that the offender wants to be ‘good’ and will be helped by affection rather than by punishment. Yet it is obvious that the work was full of stress and that only people with some of the attributes of archangels could respond to the boys’ needs and remain in control of the situation. The book demonstrates the extent of deprivation suffered by such young people and that no ordinary hostels or lodgings will do if they are to be set upon a less turbulent course of life, leading to truly adult independence.

It added greatly to our understanding of the personalities, experience of life and needs of maladjusted boys in their ‘teens at the time, although the lessons drawn from it were disturbing in relation both to prevention and treatment. The penetration of David Wills’s assessment is beyond doubt and (as Dame Eileen Younghusband concludes in her Foreword) his book will give a great deal to those ‘trying in various capacities to help boys and girls who otherwise would grow into adulthood permanently handicapped emotionally and socially’.

This book is a re-issue originally published in 1970. The language used is a reflection of its era and no offence is meant by the Publishers to any reader by this re-publication.

Foreword by Dame Eileen Younghusband.  Author’s Preface and Acknowledgements.  1. A Boy with a Problem –  2. – and a Place for Him to Go  3. Other Boys with the Same Problem  4. The Housemeeting  5. Staff Roles and Attitudes  6. Work and Wages  7. Leisure  8. Adolescence and Separation  9. Aftercare and Outcome  10. An Unsuccessful Attempt at Evaluation.  Index.