Key Principles of Quality Care
The principles of quality residential care as identified have been grouped into the following categories: child-centered issues, staffing, organizational issues, and “the field.”
A Child-Centered Model o f Care
Generally, the more child-centered and overtly caring the re gime, the better the outcome for children, from the point of view of their education, personal growth, development and social con duct. (Bullock, Little, & Millham, 1993, cited in Support Force for Children’s Residential Care, 1995b, p. 17)
The model for a residential child care program should be based, first of all, on an understanding of the developmental needs of children and young people and on an understanding of the particular and individual needs of abused and neglected children (Beedell & Clough, 1992). Planning for educational and special needs is a part of this. The aim should be to provide care which is as close as possible to that provided by families in their own homes and to provide the essential functions of “holding, nurturing and development of self” (Beedell & Clough, 1992, p. 2). The crucial role of the child’s own family needs to be recognized. “The children’s needs should dictate the standards, not the traditions of the service providers” (Kahan, personal communication, 1994).