Residential child and youth care is not only the oldest but nowadays also one of the least 'sexy' forms of assistance for children and young people in need. Among other things, questions have been raised as to the effectiveness of residential placements, especially in comparison with wellconceptualized non-residential alternatives. The ernpirical proof for the ascribed lack of effectiveness is small. Outcome studies indicate a moderate-high level of change, i.e. reduction of problem behaviour in children and young people. It is likely that the care and assistance provided by group workers is a key factor in bringing about positive change. In this article we investigate care worker functioning, their job satisfaction and their working methods in this discipline. Our focus will be on the quality of the social interaction and the working relationship between cfuld and care worker. Research points to the importance of this common treatment factor. In addition to broadening the study of outcomes, in terms of both measurement type and time, we argue for a greater emphasis in research and practice on the status and personal characteristics of residential workers, partly in relation to the needs of children in their care.

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International Journal of Child & Family Welfare

Knorth, E.J., Harder, A.T., Huyghen, A.M.N., Kalverboer, M.E., & Zandberg, Tj. (2010). Residential youth care and treatment research. International Journal of Child & Family Welfare, 13(1/2), 49–67. Retrieved from