The skills and personal qualities of the staff are the central features of quality care. Ensuring excellent staffing is a result of a range of good recruitment, selection, staff support, and management practices. The principles of quality residential care as identified have been grouped into the following categories: child-centered issues, staffing, organizational issues, and 'the field'. Generally, the more child-centered and overtly caring the regime, the better the outcome for children, from the point of view of their education, personal growth, development and social conduct. The international scene reflects local experience of the low status and poor image of residential child care. Formal recognition of residential child care as a profession is a long way off in Australia and the English-speaking world. The Support Force for Children's Residential Care, the National Children's Bureau, the Darlington Social Research Unit, and the Centre for Residential Child Care are some of the major bodies behind this practice-based research.