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Residential childcare can be defined with the help of characteristics that Erving Goffman identified in the ‘total institution’ in 1961. These include the batch-living of children and young people in a clearly defined, secluded space with scarce privacy; forced and hierarchically organised social relations; the mortification of children by means of education; and the mutual exclusivity of children living in the institution and in the same time with their families. Children typically cared for in these institutions include orphaned, abandoned, disabled, and chronically ill children; children removed from families who are unable to provide adequate care for them, be it due to lack of material resources, long-term absence of the primary caregiver or dysfunctionality; and children demonstrating behaviour in disaccord with accepted social norms.

Worldwide there ...

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