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Cognitive-behavioural interventions for adolescents in residential child care in Scotland : an examination of practice and lessons from research

Stevens, I. (2004) Cognitive-behavioural interventions for adolescents in residential child care in Scotland : an examination of practice and lessons from research. Child and Family Social Work, 9 (3). pp. 237-246. ISSN 1365-2206

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Abstract

This paper sets out to examine the basis and use of cognitive-behavioural interventions with adolescents in residential child care. The paper outlines the results of a survey of the use of cognitive-behavioural interventions in Scotland. The survey indicates that such interventions are used widely in residential schools and secure units in Scotland. The paper then reviews some of the studies relating to cognitive-behavioural interventions, which appear to be most relevant to residential child care. The review revealed many of the positive outcomes of cognitive-behavioural interventions. However, there are some cautionary notes highlighted by the survey and the review. These relate to issues about generalization of learning and the meaning of the intervention for the young person and for the staff. The paper discusses the importance of other factors in determining the success of cognitive-behavioural interventions. These factors include the importance of accurate assessment, the role of staff training and the need to ensure that interventions are always in the best interests of the child.