Sense of Place in Children’s Residential Care Homes

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Sense of Place in Children’s Residential Care Homes

Published in 01st of September 2014


Author: Olivia McEvoy

Publisher: Government Publications, Dublin

Date: 2014

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Government

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultations With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Child, Participation, Young People, Voice, Decision-Making

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How do young people living in residential care perceive their environment? How do they experience the sights, sounds, smell and feel of living in an institution? How may attachment to place contribute to the wellbeing of young people?

This paper explores meanings of home in domestic and regulated (institutional) environments from the perspective of young people and staff living and working in a residential children’s home in England. Drawing on a pilot study using visual participatory research methods adapted from the Mosaic approach (Clark 2011), the study identifies what young people and staff considered important about the place where residents lived. Using photographs and commentary, three conceptual themes are discussed: the home as institutional space; the home as ‘practices’; and home as idealised space. The paper raises questions as to how ways of ‘doing home’ can be supported in these liminal spaces that strive to be both domestic and institutional.