Adoption and fostering placements are being given government
priority even though residential care is the best solution for some
children, professionals in the sector warned.
Pam Burden, from Green Corns, a provider of single-occupancy
specialised residential care, told the conference that the setting
was the most effective for helping some children with profound
“There is a general concern that the way government is starting to
talk about residential care is that it’s never the best option,”
Janet Rich, of specialist residential care provider Bryn Melyn,
said ministers’ attitudes towards residential care were illustrated
by its virtual absence from the children’s green paper.
“There are just two paragraphs on residential care in the
document,” she said.
Rich criticised the “monstrous” view held by some organisations
that it was wrong for young people to be ever left alone with an
adult because of concerns about allegations of child abuse being
Burden agreed that there was a “culture of fear” among some
residential care workers who were afraid of being accused of
She said the level of such fear had become “absolutely obscene” in
The way to tackle this, she said, was to ensure that residential
care facilities had excellent child protection procedures and a
rigorous whistle-blowing policy.