Evidence-based practice, systems of care, and family engagement have become increasingly important across the continuum of child welfare services, including residential treatment. The following resources provide information to assist child-serving agencies in working with children and youth in residential care and with their families.
Best Practices in Residential Treatment
Discusses effective counseling interventions, medication management approaches, facility management issues, and aftercare approaches to ensure successful outcomes for children and adolescents leaving a facility.
Children Away From Home: A Sourcebook of Residential Treatment
Whittaker & Trieschman (2nd ed.) (2008)
Explores current issues in residential treatment for children, including milieu therapy, individual and group counseling, the nature of cottage life, staffing and personnel, the place of activities, and working with families of children in a residential treatment center.
Considering Residential Treatment for Youth in the Continuum of Care: A Systems Perspective
Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 27(1)
Provides recommendations for clearly defining residential treatment services and measuring the effectiveness of the programs at Orion House, Inc., in Newport, NH.
Evolving Residential Work With Children and Families
Discusses ethical and practical issues facing professionals working in residential treatment facilities for children. Chapters address milieu therapy, behavior management, issues of grief and loss, the impact of policies mandating no physical contact, family-centered approaches, managed care, and more.
Getting Down to Basics
Child Welfare League of America & Lambda Legal (2010)
Provides guidance on an array of issues affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth and the adults and organizations that provide them with out-of-home care.
Improving Residential Care for Children and Youth in Out-of-Home Care (PDF - 188 KB)
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (2008)
Collects guidelines, models, research, articles, and State and local examples that deal with improving residential care for children and youth in the foster care system.
Innovations in Implementation of Trauma-Informed Care Practices in Youth Residential Treatment: A Curriculum for Organizational Change (PDF - 4,422 KB)
Hummer, Dollard, Robst, & Armstrong (2010)
Child Welfare, 89(2)
Reviews the literature on trauma and children in the child welfare system and discusses a study of trauma-informed practices in out-of-home care treatment programs and a curriculum that resulted from study findings.
System of Care Approaches in Residential Treatment Facilities Serving Children With Serious Behavioral Health Needs(PDF - 163 KB)
Allen, Pires, & Brown (2010)
Center for Health Care Strategies, March 2010
Presents findings from a national survey designed to determine whether system of care principles are reflected in residential treatment centers' policies and practices and whether they provide home- and community-based services and supports in addition to traditional offerings.
Youth Missing From Care: Guidelines for Residential Treatment Facilities and Group Homes (PDF - 308 KB)
Behavioral Health and Welfare Program, Institute for Juvenile Research, & University of Illinois at Chicago (2010)
Provides guidelines workers can use to address the development of an individualized runaway prevention and management plan for youth living in residential treatment facilities and group homes. Guidelines address addressing risk assessment, long-term prevention strategies, preventing imminent runs, safety for missing youth, and program responses when youth return.