Working with challenging and disruptive situations in residential child care: Sharing effective practice
- Funder: Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)
- Co-researchers: Professor David Berridge and Dr Patricia Lucas (School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol), Rosemary Kilpatrick (Liverpool Hope University), Ruth Sinclair (National Children’s Bureau), Emma Larkin (Queen’s University, Belfast)
- Dates: January 2006 - September 2008
- Research centre: Children and Families Research Centre and Health and Social Care
This research was commissioned by SCIE in response to concerns about the behavioural management problems posed by young people living in residential children’s homes. It had a particular focus on Northern Ireland. The Bristol-based researchers completed a systematic review of the international research literature and Northern Ireland colleagues undertook a practice survey of managers, staff and young people in NI.
The specific aims of the project were to identify:
- what are the nature, incidence and social context of challenging behaviour in children’s residential care
- what are the possible causes and effects
- which young people and staff are involved
- and what promotes effective practice.
The research review identified just 33 reliable publications over 20 years on this topic. The review concluded that most residents do not pose major behavioural problems. Those who do, include both boys and girls, although girls are more likely to be the victims. Challenging behaviour occurs mainly during the evenings and at night. Staff responses are too often reactive rather than proactive. There was no evidence that particular types of structured interventions were more effective than others.
The following reports and summaries can be downloaded from the SCIE website by following these links.
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