chapter  18
9 Pages

Consultation in residential care

ByPETER WILSON

There are good reasons for some children being in residential care. Despite prevailing concerns about costs, abuse and institutional dependency, it is nevertheless the case that many children need to be resident in establishments of one sort or another, at different times in their lives, in order to be adequately looked after, protected, educated and treated. Children who suffer chronic physical illness, children with severe learning disabilities, children whose behaviour is very irrational and bizarre or whose psychological illness is life-threatening, such as anorexia nervosa ± all require continuous attention and treatment within a safe environment. Children with serious behavioural problems, suf®cient to be a danger to themselves or to others, need to be securely held and helped within the physical constraints of a secure unit or youth treatment centre. Children with emotional and behavioural problems arising from abusive and traumatic family experiences require the sustained understanding and containment provided in special schools and therapeutic communities. Children whose lives have been disrupted by family tragedy, death, separation and loss may need to be accommodated by the local authority residential establishments, either temporarily whilst awaiting foster care placement or on a more long-term basis. And ®nally, children whose parents live abroad or who prefer their children to be educated in residential establishments require boarding school placements.