Therapeutic residential care for children and youth : a consensus statement of the International Work Group on Therapeutic Residential Care

Whittaker, James K. and Holmes, Lisa and del Valle, Jorge F. and Ainsworth, Frank and Andreasson, Tore and Anglin, James and Bellonci, Christopher and Berridge, David and Bravo, Amaia and Canali, Cinzia and Courtney, Mark and Currey, Laurah and Daly, Daniel and Gilligan, Robbie and Grietens, Hans and Harder, Annemiek and Holden, Martha and James, Sigrid and Kendrick, Andrew and Knorth, Erik and Lausten, Mette and Lyons, John and Martin, Eduardo and McDermid, Samantha and McNamara, Patricia and Palareti, Laura and Ramsay, Susan and Sisson, Kari and Small, Richard and Thoburn, June and Thompson, Ronald and Zeira, Anat (2016) Therapeutic residential care for children and youth : a consensus statement of the International Work Group on Therapeutic Residential Care. Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 33 (2). pp. 89-106. ISSN 1541-0358 (

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In many developed countries around the world, "group care" interventions for children and adolescents have come under increasing scrutiny from central government, private philanthropic, and child advocacy agencies desirous of: achieving better outcomes for vulnerable children and youth; doing so in closer collaboration with their families and in closer proximity to their home communities and cultures in ways that reduce the potential for abuse while maximizing the use of informal helping resources; and, with the hope of reducing the high costs often associated with group residential provision. In some jurisdictions, efforts to reduce residential care resources in the absence of sufficient alternatives to serve high-resource needing youth has had unintended and negative consequences (Ainsworth & Hansen, 2005). Underpinning these many reform efforts has been a widely shared desire to design interventions that are effective and consistent with what is known about avoiding iatrogenic effects such as "deviancy training" and providing multiple opportunities for children to progress to the full limit of their developmental potential wherever they are served. Robbie Gilligan from Trinity College, Dublin has succinctly illuminated the challenges confronting those who seek to identify a place and purpose for high quality therapeutic residential care services in an overall child and family services system (Gilligan, 2014 Gilligan, R. (2014).


Whittaker, James K., Holmes, Lisa, del Valle, Jorge F., Ainsworth, Frank, Andreasson, Tore, Anglin, James, Bellonci, Christopher, Berridge, David, Bravo, Amaia, Canali, Cinzia, Courtney, Mark, Currey, Laurah, Daly, Daniel, Gilligan, Robbie, Grietens, Hans, Harder, Annemiek, Holden, Martha, James, Sigrid, Kendrick, Andrew ORCID logoORCID:, Knorth, Erik, Lausten, Mette, Lyons, John, Martin, Eduardo, McDermid, Samantha, McNamara, Patricia, Palareti, Laura, Ramsay, Susan, Sisson, Kari, Small, Richard, Thoburn, June, Thompson, Ronald and Zeira, Anat;