Residential child care: learning from international comparisons

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    Over recent years, residential child care has come under increased scrutiny, and there has been marked ambiguity in policy debates about its roles and functions within the range of child welfare services. Considerable concern has been expressed about the institutional abuse identified in countries around the world. Questions have been asked about the effectiveness of residential care in comparison with alternative services. The often difficult experiences of children and young people leaving residential care - particularly those leaving care to independence - have raised questions about policies and practice. The ongoing focus on the importance of the family and family-based care settings has been contrasted with the 'institutional' nature of residential care. These discussions have played out in different ways across the world. It is the aim of this chapter to highlight the main issues to see what lessons can be learnt from comparison with residential care in other countries. The potential scope of this endeavour is huge and we have therefore had to be selective in the examples used, but we hope to contribute to the positive development of residential care.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEarly Professional Development for Social Workers
    EditorsRaymond Taylor, Malcolm Hill, Fergus McNeill
    Place of PublicationBirmingham
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


    • social work
    • residential child care
    • child care
    • international comparisons
    • early professional development
    • social workers
    • british association of social workers


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