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Residential child care

Find out more about residential child care.

Around 10% of children in care live in residential child care. Placements in residential child care are made according to the child or young person's needs and the residential child care sector reflects the diversity of these needs.

Residential child care settings include:

  • Short and long term homes, some providing specialist care for children with disabilities.
  • Residential special schools.
  • Therapeutic communities.
  • Adolescent psychiatric units.
  • Secure children's homes.

Whatever the setting, residential child care practitioners are responsible for promoting a caring, healthy, stimulating, safe and secure environment for the children and young people in their care.

Residential practitioners are required to assess the social, emotional, intellectual, cultural and physical needs of children and young people in residential care. They must also plan, implement and review programmes that meet those needs.

They will usually be a 'key worker' for one or more children. This role makes them the main link between the child's family, field social worker and their school.

Our work with the residential child care workforce focuses on supporting employers to raise standards and empowering carers to continue their own professional development.

Find out about the Professional Practice Standards for Residential Child Care.

Page updated: 28 July 2011

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