Group Homes for Children and Young People: The Problem Not the Solution | Children Australia | Cambridge Core

Abstract

In every state and territory in Australia, child welfare departments,
under various names, maintain or, alternatively, fund group homes for
children and young people in the non-government sector. Increasingly,
these group homes offer only four places with no integrated treatment or
educational services. In that respect they can best be viewed as
providing care and accommodation only. Since 2010, following the release
of a definition of therapeutic residential care by the National
Therapeutic Residential Care Work Group, there has been debate about how
to make group homes therapeutic. In 2017, as part of a wider reform
effort, New South Wales renamed all their out-of-home care (foster care
and residential care) as intensive therapeutic care and ceased using the
term residential. The net result is that the group homes in New South
Wales will from now on be referred to as intensive therapeutic care
homes. This article raises questions about the utility of this renaming
and explores whether or not group homes can be therapeutic given the
characteristics of the population of children and young people they
accommodate, their small size, the staffing complement and the limited
job satisfaction with high staff turnover as a consequence of this
smallness. All of these factors lead to the well-documented,
anti-therapeutic instability of the group home life space

Group Homes for Children and Young People: The Problem Not the Solution | Children Australia | Cambridge Core

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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