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Consensus Statement on Group Care for Children and Adolescents

February 1, 2014

Introduction

Every child has a basic right and need to grow up in a safe home with a stable continuous relationship with at least one adult who is a trusted, committed parent figure. Group settings should not be used as living arrangements, because of their inherently detrimental effects on the healthy development of children, regardless of age. Group care should be used for children only when it is the least detrimental alternative. That standard is met only when there is no less restrictive setting available to meet a child’s need for therapeutic mental health services. Even in that instance, group care should end when it ceases to be the least detrimental alternative for that child.

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