In this assignment we will discuss Residential care as a system of care provision in the Ireland. We will also discuss how the intervention may be of support to clients and the different theoretical approaches used. We will list the pros and cons of residential care and discuss the differences between the Private, Public and Voluntary sectors. Although it is generally in the best interest of the child for him or her to be brought up by their own family, it is not always possible as a child’s welfare and safety is paramount to their wellbeing. Residential care is described as care for children who can no longer be cared for by their family in their own home. This may also happen in the case of a child who has been abandoned or orphaned. Where parents are unable to cope due to illness or other problems they may agree to their children being taken into the care of the Health Service Executive (HSE.ie). Residential care refers to care that can be provided in a home (for children in the care of the HSE) staffed by Care Staff. The home or centre is referred to as a children’s residential centre. Residential care may be provided in a HSE run children’s residential centres. Care may also be provided by voluntary organizations on a not for profit basis. In recent years, organizations also provide residential care for young people on a for profit basis.
Under the Child Care Act 1991 residential centres have to be registered and inspected by health boards. Centre’s managed directly by the HSE are inspected by the Social Services Inspectorate (SSI) and those centres in the voluntary sector and contracted to the HSE are inspected by nominated appropriate personal. The recent development of the private sector provision of residential centres follows the similar registration and inspection requirements of the voluntary sector. (Lecture notes) The purpose of residential care is to provide a safe, nurturing environment for individual children and young people who cannot live at home or in an alternative family environment. It aims to meet in a planned way the physical, educational, emotional, spiritual, health and social needs of each child. This may include ; working with a young person’s Social Worker and other professionals to prepare a young person for a successful return home, working with a young person’s Social Worker and other professionals to prepare a young person for a successful transition to an agreed placement of choice, working with a young person’s Social Worker and other professionals to prepare a young person for a successful transition to independent / supported living (Institute of Child Protection Studies) There are many different ways in which residential care can support a child in care.
Keyworking is the provision of individualised care for each young person through a named member of the centre’s staff team. While a keyworker is not solely responsible for the care of the young person it is their responsibility to co-ordinate and ensure that the team focus is on progressing the young person’s care plan and the young person’s life in the centre. It is also crucial that the welfare and best interests of resident young people are of paramount consideration in all aspects of the care provided and that the young people in care are provided with an opportunity to feel safe, secure and protected from harm in an environment where they can be sure their primary needs will be met. Childcare act 1991 offers many approaches to meeting the needs of children and their families. Examples of these approaches include emergency care, assessment, short and long term care, respite care also to provide families in difficulty (Child Care Regulations 1996). There are several different theoretical approaches used in residential care.’ A therapeutic intervention is an intentional interaction(s) or event(s) which is expected to contribute to a positive outcome for a child or young person, which is selected on the basis of his/her identiﬁed needs, and which is underpinned by an informed understanding of the potential impact and value of the interaction/event involved’ (Best Practice Guidelines) Attachment theory is an extremely important example.
Where children who are placed in the child welfare system have not experienced a secure base with their primary carers it is essential that social care practitioners aim to form this quality of relationship with them which is what is meant by the provision of a ‘second chance secure base’. A secure base is a relationship within which a child or youth feels safe, nourished both physically and emotionally, where s/he is comforted when distressed, reassured when frightened. Aristotle argued that happiness for humans is not possible in the absence of reciprocal, affective relationships or friendships (Sherman 1991). Such relationships for children are only possible in the context of satisfactory attachments which provide for them a secure base from which to explore their environment (Bowlby 1988). Attachment theory emphasises that continuity and sensitive responses to youth in care are key features of the environment of care-giving (Rutter & O’ Connor 1999). Due to persistent relationship problems and patterns, care staff offering a good relationship may not be enough.
There may be a need to actively identify abusive relating and encourage and model alternatives. Important principles are: modelling; rewards rather than punishments; and natural consequences and consistently applied limits (Morton et al., 1999, p. 57). Social learning theory together with trauma and non-violence theory can form the basis of models which see the whole environment as a therapeutic agent (Abramovitz & Bloom, 2003). A social care worker needs to have a variety of skills and qualities when working in a residential home with vulnerable clients. The care worker needs to be open minded and non-judgemental, a good listener, patient, be able to work as part of a team, be understanding and must be flexible and be able to work under pressure or adapt to any changes quickly. Like every situation or care setting there are always pros and cons. The pros of residential care include: Residential Care is seen as a secure environment.
Children get to build relationships with others
Regulated by HSE to ensure the best possible care and services are given Activities are arranged
The child’s needs are met and there is consistent care givenThe Cons of a residential care setting include: The child may feel neglected or unwanted and see themselves as being institutionalised. Often required to do things at set times
May not always have a choice who they share rooms with and may not be compatible Limited living space and private space A good care provider may not be good at property management and maintenance and vice versa (housingoptions.org.uk)
Residential homes are operational under the three sectors which are public, private and voluntary. The public sector is defined as the whole of the activities, organisations, institutions or services, for which the state or its representatives can be regarded as the employer, and whereby the organisation, the goals and the operation thereof are determined by public authorities and underpinned by public funding.( www.eurofound.europa.eu) The Private Sector is the part of the economy that is not fully state controlled and is run by individuals or groups of people. In the case of residential homes an example of a private run care home is Daffodil Care services. Although this is a private run service it is still monitored by the Health Service Executive. The final sector is the voluntary sector, which has ‘pioneered the provision of services, with the state becoming involved in a supportive role at a later stage’. In many instances voluntary organisations supplement the basic services provided by the state. Depending on the type of activity engaged in, there are different sources of funding for voluntary organisations. These include the European Social Fund and Lottery Funding. The main sources of recurrent funds for the majority of voluntary organisations providing welfare services are health boards. Section 65 of the Health Act, 1953 provides that health authorities may support organisations providing services similar to those of the health authority. (Curry 2003)
In conclusion to this assignment we have discussed Residential Care as a whole and shows how theoretical approaches are used and also gives us a clear understanding of the three different sectors. Residential care will always be needed in society to ensure the care for children who may not have any other options or resources available.
Curry, J (2003). Irish Social Services, 4th ed. Dublin : British Library
Best practice guidelines(2009)best practice guidelines for the use and implementation of therapeutic interventions for children and young people in out of home care [online] available:http://www.caab.ie/Publications/PDFs—Publications/Guidance-Documents/CAAB-Best-Prac-Guide-hteraputice-Inter.aspx[6th December 2011].
Evergreenconsultantsinhumanbehaviour[online]http://attachmenttherapy.com/adult.htm[6th December 2011].