Journal Article

Good Practice in the Education of Children in Residential Care

Bernard Gallagher, Chris Brannan, Rob Jones and Simon Westwood

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 8, pages 1133-1160
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bch133
Good Practice in the Education of Children in Residential Care

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Research shows that the education of children in residential care is generally poor, in terms of both process and outcome. This has highlighted the uncertainty over how best to educate these children and a pessimism over what they can achieve. Drawing upon the findings of an evaluation of a children’s home, this paper argues that children in residential care can have good educational outcomes. It also shows that it is possible to identify the processes by which these outcomes can be brought about. However, this largely positive assessment is predicated upon education being defined broadly in respect of ‘process’ and ‘outcome’. Moreover, it is important not to underestimate the formidable challenges inherent in this work. While the multi-agency nature of this work gives rise to one of the most significant, it has to be recognized that responsibility for the education of children in residential care falls primarily to children’s homes. If children’s homes are to meet the increasing expectations that are being made of them, national and local government will have to undertake a radical transformation of residential childcare, especially in terms of attitudes towards, and resources invested in, this sector. Central to this is the establishment of a qualified and properly supported workforce.

Keywords: Education; looked after children; good practice; residential childcare

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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