Group care for children and adolescents is widely used as a rearing environment and sometimes used as a setting in which intensive services can be provided. This consensus statement on group care affirms that children and adolescents have the need and right to grow up in a family with at least 1 committed, stable, and loving adult caregiver. In principle, group care should never be favored over family care. Group care should be used only when it is the least detrimental alternative, when necessary therapeutic mental health services cannot be delivered in a less restrictive setting.

Published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry in 2014, Vol. 84, No. 3, 219 –225