Residential child care has a positive part to play - NCERCC response to the care select committee
Monday 20 April 2009
The National Centre for Excellence in
Residential Child Care (NCERCC), based at NCB, welcomes the House
of Commons' Children, Schools and Families Committee report
launched today (Monday 20 April 2009), which recognises the
positive part the residential child care sector has to play in
meeting the needs of vulnerable young people.
Residential care is often seen as the last resort for looking
after children whose families, for whatever reason are unable to
care for them. This is despite extensive research which highlights
the benefits of residential care and many young people reporting to
prefer a residential placement than being with a family.
Since the Care Standards Act in 2000, and the introduction of
the National Minimum Standards in 2002, residential child care is
now the most regulated children's service. The sector has been
making steady improvements in practice and, according to the OfSTED
Annual Report, 92% of children's homes are satisfactory or better
and two thirds are good or outstanding.
Themes from the Select Committee report that NCERCC would like
to draw particular attention to are:
Residential Child Care is no longer 'institutional' care in the
sense of large buildings and groups. Most children's homes
now have less than 5 children living in them. Every child will have
a keyworker, who is frequently supported by a co-worker, who acts
as the child's parenting figures ensuring individual care within a
group context. Research shows that relationships between staff and
children is a hallmark of positive residential practice with young
people feeling cared for with understanding, sympathetic,
comforting, consistent and individual attention.
2. Workforce development
The latest figures available shows that 70% of staff in children's
homes and 80% in Residential Special Schools meet the required
National Minimum Standards.
Plans are now being made for the sector to have visibly
strengthened workforce developments, including significantly
redesigned and delivered NVQ III. The recent CWDC
Professional Standards for Residential Child Care Workers have been
warmly received by the sector as have plans for a graduate-led
profession in the near future.
Interest in social pedagogy has increased over the last 2-3 years
and is one of the several different approaches emerging which are
needed to meet the diversity of needs.
For more information on recent developments of social pedagogy
here [PDF 56KB].
Notes to editors:
1. For more information on these issues download the NCERCC
published review of research What Works in Residential Child Care.
A review of research evidence and the practical considerations www.ncb.org.uk/ncercc
2. About 6000 young people live in the 2,500 children's homes
across the country, which is between 11-13% of the population of
looked after children. 65% of the children's homes are privately
run, 30% are local authority run, and 5% are voluntary.
3. The National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care,
based at NCB, aims to improve standards in residential care. The
Centre is a mixture of physical and virtual resources, with staff
based at NCB, a network of residential care managers and
practitioners across England, and training and other materials
4. NCB's mission is to advance the well-being of all children
and young people across every aspect of their lives. As a
membership and infrastructure support agency for the children's
sector in England and Northern Ireland, NCB provides essential
information on policy, research and best practice for our members
and the members of our wide range of partnership bodies which
operate under our charitable status and are based in our London
headquarters. For further information visit http://www.ncb.org.uk/
For further information contact:
Clare Quarrell, Anna Tombs, Clare Lilley - NCB Media Office
Tel: 020 7843 6044/6045/6047/07721 097033 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org