One of the most damaging criticisms made of local authority-run children’s residential care in recent years is that these services have largely failed to meet the needs of young people (DH 1991c; Dartington 1995; Support Force 1996). As we saw in Chapter 4, a key reason for this is that residential services have suffered from ‘indifferent management and control’ (Audit Commission 1994: 16) and from the lack of a ‘coherent policy framework’ (DH 1991a: 45). Also important has been the way in which the process of making admissions into children’s homes has been managed. In many cases, placement decision making remains ad hoc, inconsistent and unplanned (DH 1997; Waterhouse, 1988: 108). Where homes had been designated specialist functions, all too often these are treated as ‘negotiable’ (Berridge 1985: 81). In many cases, residential staff groups have found themselves responding to a succession of unplanned admissions and therefore unable to specialise or improve services (Dartington 1996b; Sinclair and Gibbs 1996; Whittaker et al. 1996).
KeywordsResi Tate Stake Ethos Glean
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