"Hard to know what to do": how residential workers experience the mental health needs of young people

Judith Furnivall

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This paper aimed to describe the experiences and perspectives of residential child care practitioners in dealing with the mental health difficulties of the children for whom they are responsible and to compare their experience with that of other professionals. it draws on the findings of the Scottish Needs Assessment Programme (SNAP) which surveyed a wide range of professionals who worked regularly with young people but whose main focus of work was not mental health. This article focuses on the findings from questionnaires sent out to 289 residential workers in Scotland. Replies were received from 104 staff, giving a 36 percent response rate. Residential workers were asked about their most recent experience of working with a child or young person with mental health, emotional or behavioural problems, the most worrying case they had worked with in the last three years and the case that had given them the most satisfaction in the same timescale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalScottish Journal of Residential Child Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • residential child care
  • mental health
  • child care
  • residential child care practitioners
  • social care

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