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Rethinking residential child carePositive perspectives$
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Mark Smith

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781861349088

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861349088.001.0001

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Conclusion: rethinking residential child care

Conclusion: rethinking residential child care

(p.165) eleven Conclusion: rethinking residential child care
Rethinking residential child care

Mark Smith

Policy Press

This book has painted an ambivalent picture of residential child care in the United Kingdom. There are many pockets of good practice, and even in the worst situations there are individual carers who strive on a day-to-day basis to do their best for those they work with. The problem lies less with the individuals who work in residential child care than with the wider context in which they are expected to do their jobs. Residential child care can be a conducive environment for children to grow up in. For this to happen, however, requires a fundamental rethink of the discourses that currently shape policy and practice. Before moving on to discuss care in some more detail, this chapter examines why current attempts to manage and ostensibly improve residential child care through increasing bureaucracy and regulation are conceptually flawed. It then discusses the negative impact of neoliberalism on residential child care, care ethics, care as an activity and a disposition, and the role of parenting and upbringing.

Keywords:   United Kingdom, residential child care, bureaucracy, regulation, neoliberalism, care ethics, parenting, upbringing

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