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 for Residential Interventions for Youth and Their Families: A Resource Guide for Judges and Legal Partners With Involvement in the Children’s Dependency Court System (PDF - 1,336 KB)
Association of Children’s Residential Centers (2017)
Provides an overview of youth, ages 12–17 years old, and their families involved in a residential intervention and what legal professionals should look for in determining a safe, quality, and effective program.
Can We Re-Envision Residential Care? [Video]
Casey Family Programs (2020)
Presents a video featuring the CEO of Children's Village, who describes how the child welfare system can work to reenvision residential care. At Children's Village, this was done by transforming into a model that reflects the full continuum of care for children and includes a strong commitment to reunify families when possible.
Elements of Effective Practice for Children and Youth Served by Therapeutic Residential Care (PDF - 2,099 KB)
Casey Family Programs (2016)
Reviews intervention elements for effective therapeutic residential treatment and group home organizations to achieve key therapeutic and permanency goals.
Implementing Evidence-Based Practice in Residential Care – How Far Have We Come? (PDF - 305 KB)
Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, 34(2)
Examines the status of evidence-based program models and treatments being implemented to improve residential care for children and retraces the developments that led to such efforts.
Quality Care in Therapeutic Residential Programs: Definition, Evidence for Effectiveness, and Quality Standards
Daly, Huefner, Bender, Davis, Whittaker, & Thompson (2018)
Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 35(3)
Examines the experience of one agency that is a national provider of therapeutic residential care (TRC) using a model of care with promising research evidence. This article explores the effects of three recent developments in the field of residential care on policy and practice directions, including an international consensus statement that provides definitions for the key elements of TRC, research reviews documenting the effectiveness of TRC practices and models, and a public/private partnership establishing new quality standards for out-of-home care.
Quality Standards for Residential Group Care
Florida Institute for Child Welfare
Presents measurable quality standards for residential group care developed in Florida, which also includes the development of a comprehensive assessment tool for quality standards. The new standards outline a set of research-informed practice standards across eight domains: assessment and service planning; safe, positive environment; monitoring and reporting; family, culture, and spirituality; staff training and supervision; program elements; education and life skills; and transition planning.