Commentary:Recognizing the value of the milieu in therapeutic residential care for children and youth

Jonathan Huefner, Frank Ainsworth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Scopus citations


    Therapeutic residential care differs markedly from other forms of out-of-home care for children and youth. Support for the view that therapeutic residential care needs to be a milieu approach that leverages all interactions in the living environment to achieve a beneficial emotional and behavioral experience for children and youth is presented. A therapeutic milieu has the advantage of maintaining focus on what is in the best clinical interest for a child by aligning and coordinating all interactions and activities. We provide a rationale for a milieu-based foundation for therapeutic residential care that consists of five elements: care, treatment, nurturing, teaching, and order. Attending to milieu as defined will provide a sound foundation upon which effective and well-implemented treatment can be fully expressed.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)324-335
    Number of pages12
    JournalResidential Treatment for Children and Youth
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - 2021


    • Therapeutic residential care
    • children and youth
    • therapeutic milieu

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Law


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