In a long article the Washington City Paper does reveal how damaging intensive use of residential treatment can be.
When you remove minors from their home and their personal network, they feel it like a punishment. Humans are social beings and their emotional well-being is very depended of the resources in the local community.
Still some states and countries remove a higher number of children from the care of their families without exploring the full extent of these resources. They don't ask whether grandparents or the extended family could aid the parents in the process of parenting. They write their reports so they can create more work for their department and colleges.
The department of social services operates in many aspects just as private firm. They are looking for work and income.
It is hard for the local politicians to supervise this area as it is a specialized area demanding a high level of knowledge and education.
So often the department of social service is out of control where they demand a growing percentage of the limited budget the public sector can use for the good of the entire population.
Especially during these times where the economy is under pressure and the residential treatment facilies as well as group homes cuts in staff expenses the time has come for a dramatic review of the procedures used in the public sector both in the United States as well as in other countries using residential treatment options.
The money is better spent utilize the use of the network around the individual child. Just because some parts of the family dynamics are broken it should not end up in throwing the entire network away.
We can only urge the politicians to set up an analyse of the expenses in this sector. There are consultant firms which can improve the possibilities the politicians makes the decisions based upon but also the conditions for the children involved in the system.
Outsourcing Troubled Kids, Washington City Paper, By Jason Cherkis, January 7, 2011