Report 58: Therapeutic approaches to social work in residential child care settings

Indications

Evaluating the impact of the approaches on ‘objective’ measures of staff and young people’s wellbeing proved difficult. Many homes had started their implementation before the evaluation began, meaning that it was difficult to get a ‘before and after’ picture.

One source of longitudinal data was available, however. This was the monthly monitoring reports of incidents that occur within homes. We analysed data from a sample of 18 homes, from before and after training, and also some homes which had not received any therapeutic approaches training.

The results suggested that staff responses to certain incidents changed after the introduction of the approaches. Homes with staff trained in a therapeutic approach were more disposed to manage incidents such as substance abuse within the home, rather than calling on other agencies.

Assaults on staff also appeared to be less frequent than before training took place.

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