I’ve always thought that there are particular children and young people with
difficulties for whom residential group care is a better option than foster
care. A few among a number of “for instances” immediately spring to mind.
Some children who are experiencing family difficulties and cannot for the
time being stay with their own families nevertheless feel that they do not
want to live in a substitute family setting because despite their problems
they still feel that they have a family and hope soon to return to it. For
them accepting a placement with a foster family may seem an act of
Others may have had such a poor experience of family life that to live
with another family may feel too threatening for them.
Others may already have experienced a number of family and foster family
Or am I just kidding myself that residential child is a helpful resource
because I have spent so many years doing it and don’t want to think I have
wasted my working life ? These are doubts I sometimes have as I grow older
and no longer work directly with youngsters.
Is residential child care really necessary ?