Who would be a Residential Child Care Worker?

Prof Doc Thesis

Beckler, Lydia Ephraim 2014. Who would be a Residential Child Care Worker? Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.4586
AuthorsBeckler, Lydia Ephraim
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Residential child care is most often seen as a placement of last resort and not a placement of choice. The only time one hears of it is when something has gone wrong therefore, workers are seen in a poor light. The terms and conditions are poor and the work is challenging, both physically and emotionally. This being said there are dedicated, well qualified people entering then remaining in this field of work. This study sets out to understand not only how people got into the work but more importantly once they were in it why they decided to stay. This is an in-depth study based primarily on the life-story narratives of a small sample of participants plus the responses to a web-based questionnaire to add a second dimension. The work of Pierre Bourdieu and aspects of psychoanalytical theory have been used to examine both the sociological and psychological backgrounds of the participants giving a truly psycho-social account of their journeys. The study identified that the routes into the work were often complex and varied and that they played little part in the reasons people chose to remain in the work. Being disappointed with initial work choices, due to familial and social pressure, played a significant part in why the participants were looking for something in their lives. However, once in the work the participants not only enjoyed the work but were also able to meet familial and societal expectations by gaining qualifications, and for some status. More importantly, the work offered opportunities to be creative and feel of value as there was a ‘fit’ between the individual and the home. Significantly, the work allowed the participants to make reparation for real or imagined harm that they may have caused or had been done to them in early childhood. It is this combination of opportunity to meet familial and societal pressure whilst feeling good about oneself that has meant that for this sample they have remained working within the sector

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15123/PUB.4586
Publication dates
PrintJul 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Oct 2015
Publisher's version
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