Putting the care into residential care: the role of young people



Emond R (2003) Putting the care into residential care: the role of young people. Journal of Social Work, 3 (3), pp. 321-337.

Summary: There has been long-standing academic interest in the study of residential child care. Such study has made a valuable contribution to the development of both services and care practice. The perspectives of young people have, however, received less attention. This gap is most significant in relation to their group care experiences. Indeed the resident group is seen as a somewhat negative force and one from which children and young people require protection. This article uses data from one ethnographic study undertaken in Scotland to explore the ways in which young people in residential care offer one another support. Findings: The findings from this study illustrate the various functions that the group serves for residents and the ways in which young people achieve status within such groups. In particular this article focuses on young people's use of support. It was found that support was provided in a number of ways, ranging from material provision to advice. Applications: It is argued that whilst the individualization of care is necessary in terms of care planning and intervention, the experience of group living must not be overlooked. Practitioners need to have a clear sense of how their group is functioning and seek to encourage positive group behaviours.

peer support; residential care; status

Journal of Social Work: Volume 3, Issue 3

Publication date31/12/2003

People (1)


Dr Ruth Emond
Dr Ruth Emond

Associate Professor, Social Work