Balancing rights and risks: the impact of health and safety regulations on the lives of children in residential care

I.M. Milligan, I. Stevens

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study explored the effect of health and safety policies relating to children in residential establishments and their impact on the opportunities of young people to enjoy activities like visits to the beach or hillwalking. Data were gathered by analysing one health and safety policy, interviews and questionnaires with managers and basic grade staff in five authorities across Scotland, and focus group discussions with 24 young people in care. The policy which was analysed for this study had been adapted from a wider health and safety policy used in schools. Its application to residential units restricted activities for children in care. Unit managers were concerned about the restrictive impact of the policies and procedures. Young people described a limited range of activities and questioned their relevance and scope. Basic grade staff were the only group to report that health and safety guidance was positive. However, reasons for this appeared to be related to staff prioritizing safety over the potential benefits of activities which may carry a small degree of risk. It is argued that health and safety guidance must be specific to the circumstances of small,‘homely’ residential care settings. Attitudes to risk must be informed by the developmental needs of children, and guidance should be reviewed to reflect this.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages239-254
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Social Work
    Volume6
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

    Fingerprint

    Safety
    regulation
    Health
    Health Policy
    staff
    health
    manager
    health report
    Child Guidance
    group discussion
    Scotland
    Child Care
    Focus Groups
    questionnaire
    interview
    Interviews
    school
    Group

    Keywords

    • health and safety legislation
    • looked after children
    • residential child care

    Cite this

    @article{2e02b58d1e8a48e3a4c4d1e2cd3420c3,
    title = "Balancing rights and risks: the impact of health and safety regulations on the lives of children in residential care",
    abstract = "This study explored the effect of health and safety policies relating to children in residential establishments and their impact on the opportunities of young people to enjoy activities like visits to the beach or hillwalking. Data were gathered by analysing one health and safety policy, interviews and questionnaires with managers and basic grade staff in five authorities across Scotland, and focus group discussions with 24 young people in care. The policy which was analysed for this study had been adapted from a wider health and safety policy used in schools. Its application to residential units restricted activities for children in care. Unit managers were concerned about the restrictive impact of the policies and procedures. Young people described a limited range of activities and questioned their relevance and scope. Basic grade staff were the only group to report that health and safety guidance was positive. However, reasons for this appeared to be related to staff prioritizing safety over the potential benefits of activities which may carry a small degree of risk. It is argued that health and safety guidance must be specific to the circumstances of small,‘homely’ residential care settings. Attitudes to risk must be informed by the developmental needs of children, and guidance should be reviewed to reflect this.",
    keywords = "health and safety legislation, looked after children, residential child care",
    author = "I.M. Milligan and I. Stevens",
    year = "2006",
    doi = "10.1177/1468017306071173",
    language = "English",
    volume = "6",
    pages = "239--254",
    journal = "Journal of Social Work",
    issn = "1468-0173",
    number = "3",

    }

    Balancing rights and risks: the impact of health and safety regulations on the lives of children in residential care. / Milligan, I.M.; Stevens, I.

    In: Journal of Social Work, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2006, p. 239-254.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Balancing rights and risks: the impact of health and safety regulations on the lives of children in residential care

    AU - Milligan, I.M.

    AU - Stevens, I.

    PY - 2006

    Y1 - 2006

    N2 - This study explored the effect of health and safety policies relating to children in residential establishments and their impact on the opportunities of young people to enjoy activities like visits to the beach or hillwalking. Data were gathered by analysing one health and safety policy, interviews and questionnaires with managers and basic grade staff in five authorities across Scotland, and focus group discussions with 24 young people in care. The policy which was analysed for this study had been adapted from a wider health and safety policy used in schools. Its application to residential units restricted activities for children in care. Unit managers were concerned about the restrictive impact of the policies and procedures. Young people described a limited range of activities and questioned their relevance and scope. Basic grade staff were the only group to report that health and safety guidance was positive. However, reasons for this appeared to be related to staff prioritizing safety over the potential benefits of activities which may carry a small degree of risk. It is argued that health and safety guidance must be specific to the circumstances of small,‘homely’ residential care settings. Attitudes to risk must be informed by the developmental needs of children, and guidance should be reviewed to reflect this.

    AB - This study explored the effect of health and safety policies relating to children in residential establishments and their impact on the opportunities of young people to enjoy activities like visits to the beach or hillwalking. Data were gathered by analysing one health and safety policy, interviews and questionnaires with managers and basic grade staff in five authorities across Scotland, and focus group discussions with 24 young people in care. The policy which was analysed for this study had been adapted from a wider health and safety policy used in schools. Its application to residential units restricted activities for children in care. Unit managers were concerned about the restrictive impact of the policies and procedures. Young people described a limited range of activities and questioned their relevance and scope. Basic grade staff were the only group to report that health and safety guidance was positive. However, reasons for this appeared to be related to staff prioritizing safety over the potential benefits of activities which may carry a small degree of risk. It is argued that health and safety guidance must be specific to the circumstances of small,‘homely’ residential care settings. Attitudes to risk must be informed by the developmental needs of children, and guidance should be reviewed to reflect this.

    KW - health and safety legislation

    KW - looked after children

    KW - residential child care

    U2 - 10.1177/1468017306071173

    DO - 10.1177/1468017306071173

    M3 - Article

    VL - 6

    SP - 239

    EP - 254

    JO - Journal of Social Work

    T2 - Journal of Social Work

    JF - Journal of Social Work

    SN - 1468-0173

    IS - 3

    ER -