Weeding out a few bad apples? What do we believe registration of residential childcare workers is for?

Martin Elliott

Dr Martin Elliott

Dr Martin Elliott of the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) at Cardiff University introduces a new project funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research. The study, which runs 2022-24, also involves the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff and, from HSCWRU, Jill Manthorpe, Mary Baginsky and Carl Purcell. (753 words)

Residential care for children ‘looked after’ by the state is often characterised as the placement of ‘last resort’, despite it being a positive and appropriate placement choice for some young people.  Across the UK, 16% of children looked after in England are living in residential settings, 10% in Scotland and 7% in Wales (Competition and Markets Authority, 2022). Historically, the children’s residential care workforce is undervalued and often seen as transient and low skilled (Department for Education, 2021), despite working with children who have often experienced significant trauma and challenges.

Residential children’s homes and those working in them have been the focus of much negative commentary for many years. High profile examples have ranged from the historic abuse of children in residential care in North Wales and elsewhere to more recent criticism of the impact of the marketisation of care and the profits made by private providers, and the inadequacies of children’s homes in Rotherham and Rochdale and their failure to protect children from sexual abuse. Continue reading