The challenge of improving positive residential care practices: Evidence from staff experiences in Portugal
Bibliography: Silva, I., & Gaspar, M. The challenge of improving positive residential care practices: Evidence from staff experiences in Portugal. International Journal of Child and Family Welfare, 2014. 15 (1/2), 92-109.
Authors: Silva, Gaspar
Residential child care has to be a quality answer to the children who are in placements. Positive professional care practices are crucial. In Portugal, little has been done to equip residential child care staff with effective child behaviour management strategies. This paper provides an overview of the state of the Portuguese residential child care context, the characteristics of the looked after children and of the care staff, and in particular, the need to work with these professionals to achieve better and safer caring practices. It also suggests the necessity of a proven evidence-based programme in Portuguese residential child car?e settings to help staff with little or no pre-service specific training, to better cope with the young residents’ behaviour difficulties, to develop a skilled childcare workforce, and to improve placement quality. ln the second part of the paper some results will be presented regarding our own research on the application of the evidence-based Incredible Years parenting programme in training courses for Portuguese residential workers. Considering its positive value we recommend this programme to be considered for delivery to residential staff in such settings.