Author: Kenny McGhee

Year: 2017


This article is based on a qualitative study of residential child care practitioners’ views and perspectives of the blocks and enablers to the implementation of staying put and continuing care practice with three Scottish local authorities. This small-scale qualitative study involved semi-structured interviews with nine residential practitioners, working in five children’s homes across three Scottish local authorities. Key findings highlight issues around learning and development opportunities for practitioners; the importance of managers and leaders in creating enabling contexts for practice; the challenges of resource pressures and limited capacity in the sector; and key issues around established culture and practice. What emerged was a consistent narrative of a complex, contradictory, nuanced context within which residential child care practitioners operate. The paper discusses these findings within the current context of challenges to implementing child care policy and the need to establish ‘a new norm’ for looked after young people transitioning from residential care settings.