Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds
250 pages
6.75 x 9.75 inches
March 2019
Print ISBN: 9781773380827
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In this seminal resource, Dr. Kiaras Gharabaghi identifies an underlying absence of unifying theory and practice in Canada's child and youth residential care and treatment services. By drawing on organizational examples from across Canada, Gharabaghi exposes how the historical dynamics of mediocrity and complacency have lead to inadequate standards and practices within the system. More assuredly, this resource exposes readers to alternative ways of re-imagining a system that is designed from a space of care, healing, and growth that promotes autonomy for all young people.

This well-timed resource offers the child and youth services community a positive, constructive, and revolutionary framework for residential care and treatment that is fundamentally based on a partnership between caregivers and young people, their families, neighbourhoods, and communities. Dr. Gharabaghi’s sophisticated and provocative analysis of the system’s key issues is an essential resource for students, practitioners, and educators in the field of child and youth care and in the human services more broadly.


  • explores residential care and treatment with a focus on the needs of unique populations, such as black youth, Indigenous youth, and young people impacted by developmental disability or neurodevelopmental challenges
  • emphasizes the voices and participation of young people with lived experience in residential care and treatment
  • written in a uniquely Canadian context, but its theoretical elements draw on residential care in the United States, Germany, South Africa, and elsewhere

Related Titles

Table of Contents


“Dial Tone” by Cory MacKinlay

Introduction: The Problem of Translation

Chapter 1: The Voices of Young People

Chapter 2: Theoretical Foundations of Residential Care and Treatment in Canada

Chapter 3: Practice-Based Evidence for Excellence

Chapter 4: Institutional and Everyday Cultures

Chapter 5: Aesthetic and Sensory Contexts

Chapter 6: Beyond the Plan of Care

Chapter 7: The Lived Experience of Staff

Chapter 8: Networked Practices

Chapter 9: Residential Care and Treatment in the Context of Systems

Chapter 10: Re-Designing the Professional Landscapes for Residential Care and Treatment in Canada

Conclusion: The Case for a Democratic System of Care



Kiaras Gharabaghi

Kiaras Gharabaghi is the Director of the School of Child and Youth Care program at Ryerson University, and the Co-Editor of Child and Youth Services.

A Hard Place to Call Home, Child and Youth Care Across Sectors, Vol. 1


“This book comes from a place of genuine passion, sound academic knowledge, lived professional experience, and valid scholarship intended to ignite thinking differently and critically about actually translating the voices of young people into real action—a necessary transformation that is long overdue in residential care.”

—Deborah Megens, MSW, CYC-P, Child and Youth Care, Sheridan College

“Kiaras Gharabaghi offers a powerful call to arms for us to re-examine residential child and youth care practice with a focus on the quality and effectiveness of our efforts on the lived experiences of the youth we serve.”

—Jack Phelan, MS, Child and Youth Care, MacEwan University

Student Resources

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