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Staff morale, motivation and job satisfaction

Milligan, I.M. (2006) Staff morale, motivation and job satisfaction. In: Fit for the future? Residential child care in the United Kingdom. National Children's Bureau, pp. 27-38. ISBN 1-904787-95-9

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The evidence about poor ‘outcomes’ for those who have spent many years in the ‘care system’ suggests that the residential intervention is often used ‘too little and too late’ but nevertheless it does carry out a vital role in providing a haven, and stability, for some of the most vulnerable and needy children. These are often children who have endured years of unhappy family life, and numerous failed foster placements, and who are thus considered ‘difficult to place’. Despite this, the residential intervention has still not fully established its validity and value in the eyes of many social workers who are reluctant to seek admissions to care even when the home circumstances warrant it (Kendrick 2003: p.138). Notwithstanding this view, such is the level of need, reflected in the number of emergency admissions, there will be very few empty beds on any given night, anywhere in the United Kingdom. Yet in many cases the hope (of social work managers) will be that children can be moved out in as short a time as possible. Not without cause is residential work still referred to as a ‘Cinderella’ profession.