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

Policy context and background to the study

Residential child care is an important part of the looked-after children system in Northern Ireland, as it is in the rest of the UK.

Young people in residential child care can have troubled histories that present particular challenges for those caring for them. This means that staff training and skills are vital.

In 2007, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) in Northern Ireland conducted a regional review of residential child care. This looked at issues including staff skills and development.

The review proposed the adoption of ‘therapeutic approaches’ to social work in residential child care. The DHSSPS funded the five health and social care trusts to support the development of therapeutic work for children in residential care.

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