This book provides an overview of the history, current state and future prospects of 22 residential child and youth care and education systems as they were at the time of writing. The book concentrates on Europe and North America. While t a formal comparative study, the contributors follow uniform guidelines thus enabling the reader to draw parallels between the various systems. Despite ermous cultural and social differences, similarities between the systems seemed greater than dissimilarities. The book also demonstrates how considerable progress had been made worldwide in the 25 years up to publication. The book is a companion volume to Recent Changes and New Trends in Extrafamilial Child Care: An international perspective, also published by Whiting and Birch.