This article derives from a two year study of ‘Home Supervision’, conducted as part of a programme of research on the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. The focus is on children looked after by the local authority who are on a legal supervision order at home, primarily as a consequence of having been abused or neglected, having offended or having failed to attend school without reasonable excuse. Two assumptions, both arguably a legacy of Lipsky, are challenged: first, that non-implementation by street-level bureaucrats is in opposition to their managers; and, second, the passivity of clients in respect of policy making. It is argued that the street-level bureaucrats and managers in the Home Supervision study share assumptive worlds in respect of children on home supervision, and that clients, as agentic actors, reveal a capacity for shaping policy at the implementation stage. These issues are explored and their implications for implementation studies and child welfare are discussed.