Much concern has been expressed about the scandal of physical and sexual abuse by care workers of children living in residential homes, but this is the first detailed study of the major problem of violence between children. Based on extensive interviews with young people as well as staff, and using a sociological approach, Peer Violence in Children's Residential Care offers new and important insights about the nature of peer violence from children's own perspectives and experiences. Issues young people identitfied included: the significance of group culture; the damaging nature of verbal attacks; the links between violence and gender; as well as the hierarchical nature of the group or 'pecking order'. Most young people trusted staff to protect them against physical violence from peers. The study also points to the ways in which organisational features of homes are associated with different levels and types of violent behaviour. The authors identify strategies whereby peer violence in children's residential care can be tackled.

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