From the low status role of residential (care) workers to the high-status role as house mentors

Frank Ainsworth and Paul Mastronardi


This article is about the claim that ‘residential work is part of social work’, and how the subsequent demise of specialist residential qualifications in both Britain and Australia came about. This demise resulted from the British adoption of the CQSW (Certificate of Qualification in Social Work) as a common fieldwork and residential services qualification. Australia, in time, imported US models of residential care and treatment. Two examples are given, firstly, of how the downsizing of residential facilities in NSW has created a demand for residential placements that cannot be satisfied. This is described as a planning and policy
failure. The second example is from education. This educational sector programme avoided the rush by community services to reduce the use of residential facilities. In contrast, this programme, for educationally disengaged young people, has maintained a capacity of 32 young people, and can empirically demonstrate effectiveness in returning these young people to mainstream education. The focus in this programme is on ‘educational gain and
behaviour change’, with staff in the four special houses having an educational role as house mentors.

Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care Source: 2022_Vol_21_No_2_Ainsworth_F_From_the_low_status_role_of_residential_care_workers_to_the_high-status_role_as_house_mentors.pdf

Read the full Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care Vol 21 No 2. You can download your full copy of the Journal.

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