Residential Treatment for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties in New Zealand.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
While there currently appears to be no universal definition for Emotional Behavioural Difficulties (EBD) it is often used around the world as a label for children displaying difficult behaviours. One intervention used for children with EBD is residential treatment, which involves “providing a full range of therapeutic, education, recreational and support services given by a professional, interdisciplinary team” (Johansson 2007, pg. 16). To date there is little literature on the effectiveness of residential treatment for children with EBD. This present study aims to further the research by measuring the progress made towards a child’s personal goals while at residential school and if this progress is still evident six months after returning home and entering mainstream schooling. Child and parent feedback on the time spent at residential treatment are examined to see how they viewed the treatment. The participants consisted of 83 children aged seven to thirteen years who had attended the residential school between 2004 and 2009, their parents/caregivers, mainstream teachers and residential treatment staff. Follow up questionnaires given to the parents/caregivers when the child was leaving residential treatment and the child’s leavers report were analysed using a mixed methods approach. The results of this study indicated that the children’s personal goal attainment did not change at a statistically significant level six months after returning home and entering mainstream schooling Findings were consistent across the three age groups analysed (under 8 years 11 months, 9 years -10 years 11 months and over 11 years) as well as across the goal codes. This research suggests the gains the children made towards goal attainment at residential treatment were able to be generalised to their home and mainstream school environment.