What works best in residential care


In South Australia at 30 June 2008,166 children and young people on care and protection orders were in residential care. This was 7.6 per cent of all children on care and protection orders.

Residential care can be challenging both for children and young people and workers. Positive experiences are more likely when care is based on what we know from research and past experience.

Opinions about what constitutes good residential care will vary depending on who you ask. For our purposes, good care is measured by how children and young people experience it and its contribution to their everyday life and life outcomes.


This short paper provides information to policy makers, managers, social workers and residential care workers on what contributes to a positive residential care experience for children and young people. It is intended to stimulate critical reflection about current practice, including achievements and areas for improvement, and to facilitate practice that demonstrates our commitment to making it work for kids in care.

[to open this article in PDF format select What works best in residential care]

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