Despite all the efforts made to have individuals and/or families who are willing to offer to care for these children and young persons, there are a number of children and young persons for whom this service is not appropriate.
This could be because they are very loyal towards their birth family, or because the challenges they present makes it difficult for them to live in a family, or because their behaviour could put them or other people in danger, or for some other reason. And, in some cases, children and young people feel more comfortable living within a group setting.
Over the years, the Church has made a huge and meaningful contribution in this area through the provision of residential services. At the same time, the changes in concepts surrounding this service provision, the changes in the needs of the children and young persons using these services, as well as the change in the resources at the disposal of the congregations which run these residential facilities, has necessitated that the State enters into a partnership with the residential homes to ensure that they continue to be in a position to provide their valuable service.
This is the aim of this third service, through which residential services can accomplish the changes necessary for it to be in a better position to cater for emerging needs while utilising the long years of experience that the Church has in this field. This service is also a recognition by the State of the responsibility it has towards these vulnerable children and young persons, a number of whom are under its direct care and custody because they are protected by a Care Order.
It is envisaged that this service will help residential homes to move into the community so that the children and young people who live there feel they belong to the community. It is part of the remit of this service, also, to identify the specific client groups for whom residential services need to be developed.