Caring and Coping: A Guide to Social Services

By Anthony Douglas; Terry Philpot | Go to book overview

Chapter 7

Home from home?

Residential care

HOMES FOR CHILDREN AND ELDERLY PEOPLE

Residential child care has its roots deep in the work of the Victorian philanthropists who founded Barnardo’s, NCH Action For Children, the Children’s Society and a host of other organisations, denominational and otherwise. Residential care for elderly people can be traced back to the Poor Law; indeed, it is not so many years ago many elderly people were cared for in what had been workhouses. Adams (1996) states that in 1960 37,000 elderly people were still living in former workhouses or other Poor Law accommodation.

There are other groups of people who live in residential care, mainly people with a learning difficulty and mentally ill people, but provision for them has sprung up in more recent years, occasioned by the closure of the old long-stay hospitals, the asylums of popular imagination. Certainly, the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 has caused a greater specialisation where the residential care of groups of service users, particularly that provided by private owners, is catered for.

But while residential care for elderly people and for children can be traced far into the past, in recent times their histories have been very different: most elderly people who today live in residential care do so in homes run privately, while there has been a dramatic shift in the way children are cared for. Only a minority now live in children’s homes.

More than most other kinds of social care, residential care has tended to be viewed negatively by public and professionals alike. As Townsend has written:

residential homes for the elderly serve functions for the wider

-150-

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Caring and Coping: A Guide to Social Services
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - From Charity to Social Work 6
  • Chapter 2 - On the Statute Book 21
  • Chapter 3 - The Nuts and Bolts of Care 37
  • Chapter 4 - For the Child’s Sake 57
  • Chapter 5 - Does the Community Care? 94
  • Chapter 6 - Whose Service is It, Anyway? 138
  • Chapter 7 - Home from Home? 150
  • Chapter 8 - Something Special 160
  • Chapter 9 - More Than a Piece of Paper 172
  • Chapter 10 - The Manager’s Tale 180
  • Chapter 11 - Acts of Charity 195
  • Chapter 12 - All in It Together 208
  • Chapter 13 - Across the Borders 218
  • Chapter 14 - Conclusion 231
  • Notes 236
  • Bibliography 242
  • Index 247
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