(1) Background: Italian residential communities for unaccompanied minors suffered a long period of closure during the SARS-COV2 lockdown. Professional educators who work inside these institutions with the aim to habilitate children toward life-span achievements faced a great challenge and responsibility during this period. In this context, the psychological well-being and development of unaccompanied children were at high risk. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the lockdown on children living in residential communities from the educators’ perspective and to explore whether the educators’ relational lens was related to their perception and sense-making. (2) Methods: We conducted a mix-method study enrolling 21 educators in 10 residential communities who completed an interview and a self-construal scale. (3) Results: The interview was analyzed by a qualitative content method revealing 10 themes (social relationships, stand-by, emotions, new activities, new norms acceptance, end of lockdown, time, space, resilience, and achievements). Moreover, correlation analyses were performed to test the possible association between RISC and themes that emerged from the interviews, showing significant associations with four interview themes. (4) Conclusions: Our study highlights considerable lockdown effects on residential communities and the importance of educators’ relational approach, a tool for habilitating children and a protective factor against emotional overwhelming.

DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18116166
ISSN: 1661-7827