Children, Youth and Environments
Vol. 16 No. 2 ( 2006)
Consulting Youth about Residential Care Environments in Scotland
The National Care Standards (NCS) are the baselines for measuring the quality of care in children’s homes in Scotland. The Scottish Commission for the Regulation of Care inspects the standard of residential care environments. The SCRC commissioned the development of a methodology to encourage children’s participation in inspecting their care environments, while yielding information about how well the NCS were being met. Using the NCS as the framework, a participation methodology consisting of focus groups, questionnaires and interviews was constructed. The methodology was designed to incorporate ideas about re-envisioning children’s services as children’s spaces. It was piloted with 24 young people in residential care, aged between 15 and 19 years, during February and March 2004. Findings indicated that young people appreciated the opportunity to give their views about their care environment. They made suggestions about improving the mix of residents, staff attitudes and feeling safe.