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Are you managing? The effective management of anxiety in residential settings

Macleod, Iain (2010) Are you managing? The effective management of anxiety in residential settings. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 9 (1). pp. 43-51. ISSN 1478-1840

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Abstract

Working in, and managing the tasks of, a residential care setting presents its own particular challenges. Some of those challenges as they relate to the management task are explored in this paper. Specifically there is a focus on the management of anxiety and the impact that this has on the day-to-day life of a residential care setting. Central to the discussion is an acceptance that working with young people who are vulnerable can evoke feelings of anxiety in staff. This paper discusses institutional anxiety in residential child care. It examines the roots of anxiety from a theoretical perspective, and offers some suggestions for its management in the care setting. It discusses the importance of achieving clear task definitions, arguing that when an organisation has a lack of clarity of its task definition, or there are competing and conflicting definitions, there is likely to be increased interpersonal and intergroup conflict. The article concludes that if anxiety is acknowledged and managed then the outcomes for both staff and young people in residential care can only be improved.