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N.R.C.C.I. What does it say?. N.R.C.C.I NRCCI to deliver on the government commitment to work with partners to make residential care the first and best placement of choice for those children whose needs it serves.

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N.R.C.C.I

What does it say?


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N.R.C.C.INRCCI to deliver on the government commitment to work with partners to make residential care the first and best placement of choice for those children whose needs it serves.


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  • Challenging the notion that RCC is placement of last resort blueprint for the emerging development.

  • Social Work perception that family placements should be sought particularly for children under 12

  • Key message from the NRCCI is that residential care needs to be seen as an integral part of the spectrum of care for children and young people and not seen as a last resort.

  • This starts with culture change. Challenge the stereotypes that have become an obstacle to making to making best choices. Not about favouring RCC rather refusing to limit our vision and basing decisions on what meets needs in most effective way.


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STILL THE PLACEMENT OF LAST RESORT? blueprint for the emerging development.

  • The number of children being lookedafter is at it’s highest level on record

  • The number of children being looked after inresidential care is at it’s

    lowest level on record

    Scottish Government 2011 (1987-2011)


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CLAS STATISTICS 2011 blueprint for the emerging development.


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AUDIT SCOTLAND REPORT 2010 blueprint for the emerging development.

  • Highlighted that councils spend £250 million per annum on looked after children.

  • Dominant discourse that better outcomes are more likely to be achieved out with residential care.

  • Closure of Houses/Units across local authorities.


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CARE COMMISSION REPORT blueprint for the emerging development.

  • Making the Grade?

  • Presented the results of the first year of grading registered services in 2008-2009 and looked at the quality of;

  • Staffing

  • Care

  • Management & Leadership


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Making The Grade? blueprint for the emerging development.

Quality Staffing Grade 4 and above

Care Home 88.3%

Residential School 91%

Secure Care 100%


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Making The Grade? blueprint for the emerging development.

Quality of Care Grade 4 and above

Care Home 91%

Residential School 94%

Secure Care 100%


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Making The Grade? blueprint for the emerging development.

Quality Management and Leadership

Grade 4 and above

Care Home 80%

Residential School 91%

Secure Care 100%


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Making The Grade? blueprint for the emerging development.

TORCROFT YOUNG PERSONS CENTRE

WEST LOTHIAN

Manifesto for Change

Participation Strategy

Peer Negotiation/Mediation


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STATUS OF RESIDENTIAL CHILD CARE blueprint for the emerging development.

Historical Developments & Influences.

  • Bowlby (Attachment Theory)

  • Goffman ( Institutionalisation)

  • Kilbrandon

  • Permanency

  • Inquiry Reports


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The 1960’s saw the growth and development of the social work profession, legislation following the Kilbrandon (1964) report and Seebohm (1968) reports in Scotland and England proposed the bringing together of the diverse local authority welfare services together within a new social services department thus locating residential child care within the social work profession.

According to Crimmens and Milligan residential care found itself operating in a much changed and largely hostile professional and organisational environment. (Crimmens and Milligan, 2005 pg 20).

Alongside the development of the social work profession was the emerging critique that institutional care in all its forms was de-personalising and stigmatising.


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  • Commentators have argued that the most influential of these critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • This anti-institutional bias continued to reinforce that substitute family care was the preferred option for children and young people.

  • This notion was further reinforced by the publication of the ‘Children Who Wait’ report (Rowe and Lambert, 1973) which established the concept of permanency planning.

  • Parker also writes about the ‘persistent image of residential child care as being nothing more than a repugnant type of institutional life’ (Parker, 1998 pg 18).


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INQUIRIES & REPORTS critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • Pindown Report (Levy and Kahan 1991), which chronicled routine mistreatment of children and young people in residential care in Staffordshire. This was subsequently followed by lower profile scandals affecting services in Scotland, Wales and other parts of England. As Frost Mills and Stein claimed all of these greatly influenced public perception of residential child care:

  • ‘…to a public, fed on a diet of scandal, children’s homes are places where children are either villains being sexually or physically abused, or villains who are beyond control, involved in prostitution, crime or going missing’ (Frost, Mills and Stein, 1999 pg1).


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INQUIRIES & REPORTS critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • The Skinner (1992), Utting (1991) and Kent (1997) reviews were commission by government following all the scandals surrounding residential child care.

  • These reports provided tremendous opportunity for the development of the service; the Skinner report ‘Another Kind of Home’ outlined a number of recommendations and principles for the development of the sector. Compare NRCCI


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STATUS OF RESIDENTIAL CHILD CARE critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • WHY IS THE QUALIFICATION BAR SO LOW? (SVQ111 and HNC)

  • IMPACT ON FRONTLINE STAFF.

  • IMPLICATIONS FOR COLLABORATIVE WORKING

  • THE WAY FORWARD (NRCCI SCQF level 9 all new entrants in 2014)


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STATUS OF RESIDENTIAL CHILD CARE critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • Berridge and Brodie’s (1998) study of children’s homes, reported that the low status associated with residential child care has been regularly linked with a lack of staff training and professional qualifications.

  • They point out that workers in children’s units are often perceived a ‘babysitters’ or ‘social workers in slippers’ (p.153).


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THE RESIDENTIAL TASK critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • Often described by social work managers and practitioners as a sub-set of social work interventions. (Milligan 1998).

  • However it is through the medium of lifespace as opposed to planned interventions that the most effective work with children and youth takes place. (Smith 2003).


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A WAY FORWARD critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • Distinctive Professional Identity.

  • Degree level qualifications specific to the task.

  • Recognition that many young people prefer, thrive and go on to achieve positive outcomes within residential settings.

  • An end to like for like research findings. (RCC often places the most difficult young people).


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A WAY FORWARD (Barriers) critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • Social work education not preparing staff for the task.

  • Social work discourses in training often reinforce negative perceptions of RCC.

  • Permanence theory very dominant in social work.

  • Qualified RCC workers under represented wherever social work is taught (Smith 2003).

  • Social work literature often fails to mention RCC.


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COMPARATIVE PERPECTIVES critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • North American training specifically for child and youth work.

  • South African training focused on community, education and lifespace.

  • Ireland taking the opportunity of registration to establish a more robust professional identity for child and youth care.

  • Northern Europe prefers the social pedagogy model.

  • England is now also renewing interest in social pedagogy.


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SCOTTISH CONTEXT critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • RCC in Scotland historically features traditions of community and broad education.

  • Social pedagogy also has it’s roots in education and may then share common features with Scottish traditions of practice.

  • RCC workers currently being introduced to social pedagogy.

  • University of Aberdeen offering a BA (Hons) in Social Pedagogy (Sept 2010).


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A FEW THOUGHTS critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • ‘The perception of residential care as a last resort not only stigmatises the children and young people who live there but also the workforce’ (SIRCC, 2009, p.14).

  • ‘There can be few more important and challenging tasks than caring for some of the most vulnerable and troubled children and young people in our society. We must recognise the importance of this work in the aspirations we have for this workforce’ (ibid, p. 13)


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Continued critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • ‘A residential child care placement should be made on the basis of a careful assessment of need rather than on, for example, the result of a history of failed foster care placements. This should apply whatever the age of the child’ (ibid, p.9).

  • ‘Failure to invest in children earlier and provide quality residential care is cost in terms of the damage to the individual child or young person and to society’ ibid, p. 16).


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REFERENCES critiques was that of Goffman (1961) whose work was based on 1,000 bed secure hospital in the USA in the 1950’s ‘Yet his findings on ‘institutionalisations’ continue to be applied to modern children’s homes, most of which accommodate no more than 5 or 6 young people’

  • Milligan, I. (1998) Residential child care is not social work! Social Work Education 17;3.

  • Scottish Government. (2011) Children Looked After Statistics 2009-10

  • S.I.R.CC (2009) Higher Aspirations, Brighter Futures: National Residential Child Care Initiative Overview Report.

  • Smith, M. (2003) Towards a Professional Identity and Knowledge Base: Is Residential Child Care Still Social Work? Journal of Social Work 3;235


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