Chapter

The residential environment

Mark Smith

in Rethinking residential child care

Published by Policy Press

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9781861349088
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303268 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781861349088.003.0006
The residential environment

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Psychodynamic perspectives always recognised the inherent complexity of residential child care, a complexity that needed to be understood and appropriately negotiated. Managerial regimes have sought to reduce complex relational and psychodynamic processes to a series of procedures. This is fundamentally misconceived; attempts to manage relationships through regulation detract from the essence of care. They also assume that residential child care can be managed structurally and functionally, whereas it really requires to be understood organically. This chapter considers the care environment in Britain, focusing on group care. The interaction of the human and environmental dimensions in a lifespace context produces unique cultures of care. There are three elements in the overall group-care environment: resident group, staff team, and the physical environment. The overall functioning of any resident group will also be affected by factors of gender and ‘race’.

Keywords: Britain; group care; residential child care; gender; race; resident group; staff team; physical environment

Chapter.  6351 words. 

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