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Ethics of CareCritical advances in international perspective$
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Tula Brannelly, Lizzie Ward, and Nicki Ward

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781447316510

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447316510.001.0001

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Care ethics and physical restraint in residential childcare

Care ethics and physical restraint in residential childcare

(p.195) Fifteen Care ethics and physical restraint in residential childcare
Ethics of Care

Laura Steckley

Policy Press

Physical restraint in residential child care is an ethically fraught area of practice. There is, however, scant analysis of its use from an explicitly ethical perspective. This chapter explores reasons for this scarcity and draws on a large-scale, Scottish study of young people’s and care workers’ experiences of physical restraint in residential child care to offer an empirical enquiry into the ethics of its use. Findings include a distinct lack of clarity, often combined with a discernible discomfort, amongst workers in framing considerations of restraint ethically. Simultaneously, tacit awareness of, and concerns about, ethical dimensions of restraint are also evident. Implications about the place of violence in residential child care settings, the avoidance of explicit ethical considerations of the practice of restraint and the transformative power of care ethics to offer greater clarity and improved practice are discussed.

Keywords:   physical restraint, residential child care, care ethics, violence

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