ERIC Number: ED248429
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Residential Care: Back to First Principles.
Burns, David A.
Residential care must be redefined, free from jargon and rhetoric. Over the past 20 years, the social welfare approach, which encompasses the medical model, has dominated legislative and practical thinking about residential care. This theoretical thinking reached its culmination in the concept of the therapeutic community. The therapeutic community is based on democratisation and permissiveness, supported by reality confrontation and communalism. However, in practice, the ideal of each member in the community sharing equally in the exercise of power in decision making about community affairs cannot happen without deleterious consequences. The democracy of the therapeutic community is at best a pretense. Residential care must think anew about the problematic elements in the therapeutic community of diffusion of authority and responsibility. A balance must be struck between the power of those exercising authority and the freedom of those subject to it. The primary task of residential care is to provide a living situation which meets the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of the residents. The facility must nurture its residents. Residential care depends on a professional assessment of need and a professional application of a planned program to meet that need. Residential care must develop a cogent philosophy, a relevant theoretical model, and a program of practice based on both. (BL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Support Staff; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Study Seminar "Group Care Practice: The Challenge of the Next Decade!" (London, England, April 30 - May 4, 1984).