Wednesday 27th – Friday 29th April 2016
The Centre for Child and Family Research has secured funding from the Sir Halley Stewart Trust to host a summit focused on children’s therapeutic residential care. The impetus for this comes from a widely shared view within children’s services that residential care homes for children and young people are a ‘service in flux’, and that debates about therapeutic residential care have all too often conflated evidence and ideology. The summit’s discussions will focus on the role and use of therapeutic residential care for children who are placed in the care of children’s social care services, and are unable to be adequately served in a foster family-based setting or in their own homes because of the complexity of their needs. Nonetheless, and as reflected in the definition of therapeutic residential care offered previously, the vision of service put forth in the Summit is based on full partnership with families as well as active links with a range of formal and informal community supports. Children and young people in therapeutic residential care are some of the most vulnerable in society and without appropriate services and support are at risk of becoming involved in offending, drug misuse and of sexual exploitation. The summit will provide an opportunity to bring together invited leading national and international experts to explore how therapeutic residential care can be used as an integral part of a child’s care journey. It will emphasise the importance of a fluid approach to the use of therapeutic residential care for children, as opposed to residential provision being viewed as a ‘last resort’. The team comprises, Lisa Holmes (Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University), James K. Whittaker (Professor of Social Work Emeritus, University of Washington, Seattle) and Jorge F. del Valle (Director of the Child and Family Research Group and Professor in the Department of Psychology, University of Oviedo).
Since the summit in April, the working group has written a consensus statement that has been published in the most recent edition of Residential Treatment for Children and Youth. A copy of the consensus statement can be accessed here: TRC Consensus Statement.