Report highlights scarcity of UK research on outcomes of Therapeutic Residential Care for vulnerable children

25 February 2019

A Pro Bono Economics report for Therapeutic Residential Care (TRC) charity Mulberry Bush has shown that there is relatively little UK-based evidence showing the impacts of TRC on traumatised children.

As highlighted in the report, 1 in 10 looked after children in the 2000 residential homes in the UK has complex needs requiring specialist care and support, thus showing this area of research is of key importance to establish how best to support them.

Pro Bono Economics recommends that Mulberry Bush clearly defines its treatment aims, outlines the methodology by which these outcomes would be measured, and builds a framework to systematically measure outcomes for children leaving the facility, at regular intervals.

This new report is aimed at assisting Mulberry Bush to embed impact measurement tools into the culture and practices of the organisation. Despite recognising the difficulties in doing so for the cohort of children that Mulberry Bush work with, this report provides practical advice on the means through which this may be achieved.

Mulberry Bush is a TRC school that works with children aged 5 to 13, who have usually suffered from chronic and severe neglect, trauma, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, and family breakdown. Pupils are given 3-year placements which provide therapeutic care, treatment and education to re-integrate them into an appropriate school, family and community life.  

To this end, Pro Bono Economics volunteers Thomas Dooner and Richard James, from the Cabinet Office, were matched with this project, and worked on a literature review to understand whether there are identified best practices on how to measure the long-term impact of TRC on young people.

We would like to thank Thomas and Richard for all their work on this report. More information and report download can be accessed here.

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