What’s it Like to Work at a Children’s Home?

Although few careers require more responsibility than working in residential care, very few careers come close to being as rewarding. You get to see troubled children develop into dependable young adults who grow happier and more confident every day. You truly have the ability to change a child’s life.

At A Wilderness Way, our overall aims and objectives are:

  • To offer stability to the young person’s life
  • To ensure all children and young people feel safe and cared for
  • To ensure young people are healthy
  • To ensure each young person is educated
  • To provide opportunities, challenges, achievements and rewards
  • To promote feelings of self-worth

These aims are central to the processes within our homes. We do this through the implementation of attachment theory, which is at the core of the work we undertake with young people. It helps us to understand the meaning of difficult behaviours whilst attempting to gain a sense of security through relationships.

What does a normal day look like at A Wilderness Way?

At our residential children’s homes, the young people will wake at around the same time every day. We do this in order to supply the young people with a regular routine and ensure that they are healthy and well-rested.

As a team, we have regular meetings so that the young people can discuss any problems they experienced the day before or anything that may be worrying them about the day ahead.

If the young people are in long-term placements or attend local schools, they will attend their school as normal. For those who are taking some time out, they will partake in some of our activities and alternative education.

With outdoor activities being vital to our processes within our homes, we strongly encourage young people to participate in activities or hobbies that interest them in order to gain exposure to new experiences. This can include outdoor activities such as canoeing, climbing, camping, hill walking, mountain biking and kayaking.

Whatever the activity, our employees use the positive behaviour support model and respond accordingly with praise and encouragement. The activities at A Wilderness Way are partly led by the young people, but we ensure that our staff are present to oversee the activities that will be done and support those who are learning new skills.

Once the morning activity is complete; a lunch will be provided. By monitoring the children’s meals, we ensure that they eat healthily. Then, in the afternoon, another activity will take place before dinner.

Depending on the age of the children within our homes, some younger children will go swimming or to the gym at the home’s expense. If young people have registered with local medical services, staff will also advocate with health professionals on their behalf. This means that our employees may go off-site in order to support the young people with their medical health or exercise activities. Again, this is dependent on the age of the young person.

In some cases, young people within residential care homes have good relationships with their families. In these situations, our employees communicate effectively with those family members and ensure that important emotional connections can be maintained whilst minimising the upset that can occur if young people feel they are being repeatedly abandoned.

At the end of the day, young people will go to bed at different times, depending on how old they are and how much rest they need. As the young people turn-in, carers finish off their paperwork from the day. There may be a shift-change, and those who are scheduled for a sleep-in will support the young people throughout the evening.

Work with A Wilderness Way

At A Wilderness Way, we provide each young person with a safe and supportive environment with challenges that promote growth, responsibility and learning. All our employees create an atmosphere and approach which is caring, nurturing and happy for the young people in our care.

In terms of training, employees within our residential children’s homes will receive support in order to achieve recognised qualifications such as diplomas. We also provide all residential care workers with a full induction programme which will ensure that you can utilise a consistent skillset. We have a strong management infrastructure in place in order to support our employees with their career goals.

Working with the young people within our residential children’s home is hugely rewarding. Seeing the individuals we look after go from withdrawn and frightened children to happy, confident and settled young adults makes working in residential care a thoroughly rewarding career. Read our success story about Beth here.

If you are interested in working at A Wilderness Way, please visit our careers page here.

You can also browse our current vacancies here.

What Others Say About Us

I am truly taken aback by the level of care you have shown. The staff have gone out of their way to show him the attention and care that he has never had. When I visited him, it was like I was looking at a different child to what he was before he came. He was not like a child in care, he was like a child in a family. You have literally saved his life.

Social Worker

All children and young people thrive, and they make progress while living at the home. Because of the services provided the children and young people experience an individualised, stable and consistent home life. Children and young people benefit from the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to education and care. They each achieve their full potential and, in many cases, do so beyond previous expectations.


I am so grateful to the AWW team for their dedication and commitment to caring and supporting Sam. He recently reported that being at there gave him the space to think and the opportunity to reflect on his attitude and make plans for his future.

Social Worker

I have to share my delight at Luke’s progress at AWW. Thanks to your support, in the last 17 weeks Luke and has turned his life around significantly. From where he has come from to where he is now, I am so proud of him.

Social Worker

The placement was really good and beneficial to me. The staff were all really supportive and nice and always made themselves available to me if I had any problems. The outdoor activities that were offered helped me to have a better outlook and showed me that I can do so much more in life, and it really helped me process and made me feel like a better person.


As METCO Officer for Cumbria Police I have regular contact with the team at AWW in relation to vulnerable children at risk of CSE and going missing. If a specific incident has occurred, the Home Manager and I speak on the phone to discuss the best way forward. She also attends CSE risk assessment meetings and we receive Philomena Protocol forms when a young person arrives in placement.

Cumbria Police