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Living in Children’s Residential Homes Summary

Residential care for children looked after by local authorities has changed significantly in recent years. The sector has shrunk in size and it now caters mainly for an older troubled and troublesome group. There have long been negative perceptions of residential care in England, linked to its history, as well as concerns over outcomes, residents’ safety, levels of professionalism and costs. Up to date, reliable information is important to inform current debates about the role and future development of residential care.


This short study provides an insight into the nature of children’s residential homes, the characteristics and circumstances of the young people who live in them and the short-term outcomes for these young people.