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Exploring the perceptions of staff towards children and young people living in community-based children's homes

Heron, Gavin and Chakrabarti, Mono (2003) Exploring the perceptions of staff towards children and young people living in community-based children's homes. Journal of Social Work, 3 (1). pp. 81-98. ISSN 1468-0173

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Abstract

This article examines the perceptions of staff working in community-based children's homes. Data from interviews with staff, using the repertory grid technique, are analysed and presented in the form of a case study. Particular consideration is given to the child-worker relationship and how it might affect the quality of care provided. The findings are selected from a doctoral study and suggest that despite significant changes in the residential sector, many staff feel powerless to address the real issues and problems affecting children. Rather than confront the realities of the situation and implement strategies that empower staff, it would appear that current developments in social work continue to de-prioritize the needs of children. The authors argue that a fundamental change in residential care is needed if social work is to meet the needs of many of the most vulnerable children in society.