This paper analyses the evaluation of residential care from the perspective of the adolescents in care. Twelve discussion groups were carried out in 12 different centres in Catalonia (Spain). A total of 66 adolescents aged between 16 and 18 years of age participated. The data contributed by the discussion groups were analysed and categorized using descriptive analysis matrices. Most notable from the results is that the majority of those interviewed call for increased emotional involvement from the social workers, more contact with their families and re-educational intervention within their families, which renders the return to these possible within a shorter period of time. Data provided by the adolescents lead us to reconsider the concept of optimum professional distance and to suggest replacing it with optimum professional proximity; this would be based on emotional involvement and not on emotional distance, although not on emotional dependence either.