Good Practice in the Education of Children in Residential Care

Bernard Gallagher, Chris Brannan, Rob Jones, Simon Westwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Research shows that the education of children in residential care is generally poor, in terms of both process and outcome. This has highlighted the uncertainty over how best to educate these children and a pessimism over what they can achieve. Drawing upon the findings of an evaluation of a children's home, this paper argues that children in residential care can have good educational outcomes. It also shows that it is possible to identify the processes by which these outcomes can be brought about. However, this largely positive assessment is predicated upon education being defined broadly in respect of 'process' and 'outcome'. Moreover, it is important not to underestimate the formidable challenges inherent in this work. While the multi-agency nature of this work gives rise to one of the most significant, it has to be recognized that responsibility for the education of children in residential care falls primarily to children's homes. If children's homes are to meet the increasing expectations that are being made of them, national and local government will have to undertake a radical transformation of residential childcare, especially in terms of attitudes towards, and resources invested in, this sector. Central to this is the establishment of a qualified and properly supported workforce.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1160
Number of pages28
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


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