Rethinking Residential Child Care

Positive Perspectives

Mark Smith

Rethinking Residential Child Care
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Mark Smith

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

224 pages
Paper $37.95 ISBN: 9781861349088 Published February 2009 For sale in North and South America only
Residential child care is a crucial, though relatively neglected area of social work. And yet, revelations of abuse and questions of effectiveness have led to increasingly regulatory and procedural approaches to practice and heightened political and professional scrutiny. This book provides a broad and critical look at the ideas and policy developments that have shaped the direction of the sector. The book sets present-day policy and practice within historical, policy and organisational context. The author applies a critical gaze to attempts to improve practice through regulation and, fundamentally, challenges how residential child care is conceptualised. He argues that it needs to move beyond dominant discourses of protection, rights and outcomes to embrace those of care and upbringing. The importance of the personal relationship in helping children to grow and develop is highlighted. Other traditions of practice such as the European concept of social pedagogy are also explored to more accurately reflect the task of residential child care.The book will be of interest to practitioners in residential child care, social workers and students on social work and social care courses. It should be required reading for social work managers and will also be of interest to policy makers and students of social policy, education and childhood studies.
Foreword by Leon C. Fulcher

1. The context of care
2. History
3. Inquiries and their impact
4. Trends and policy directions
5. Theorising residential child care
6. The residential environment
7. Assessment, care planning and programming
8. Working at the boundaries: the personal–professional relationship
9. Residential child care in a continuum of care
10. Other traditions of practice
11. Conclusion: rethinking residential child care

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