Residential care homes offer young people (usually of secondary school age) a safe place to live away from their families. Residents live alongside a number of other young people in the home, cared for by staff who do not live on site.
These establishments provide accommodation, support and in some cases education. Most are run by local authorities, but the voluntary and independent sectors provide a range of residential services (in particular residential schools). All residential care establishments are inspected by the Care Inspectorate to ensure they meet national standards.
Most young people who live in a residential establishment will have been assessed as needing to be cared for away from home by the local authority. Young people are placed in residential care on the recommendation of a Children's Hearing Panel, or on an emergency (short-term) basis to guarantee their safety.
Young people living in residential establishments are usually educated in schools nearby; the exception to this is where education is provided on site for young people living in residential schools and secure accomodation.