National Centre News – Autumn 2015.

Dear Colleagues,

A warm welcome to our new members Every Child leaving Care Matters, Brian Paget, Penumbra Edinburgh, and Jemma Moody of ‘Project Lift’ (www.project-lift.net). Jemma and Project Lift are working with Syrian refugee children in Turkey.

Some current context: 

It has been a very busy month. I attended the International Federation of Social Work European Congress in Edinburgh. Bridgett Robb, CEO of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) spoke of our UK responsibility to do more in support of the refugee crisis, especially while social work colleagues and services across Europe are overwhelmed by the tide of human migration to escape war and trauma. How might we help ?

I have also been working over these recent weeks with member Jonathan Stanley (ICHA and NCERCC), and Sadie Dangerfield and Penny Anderson of Hillcrest Steps, to deliver training to children’s homes managers on developing ‘Assessment and Evaluation in Children’s Homes’ – to help them prepare for the new OFSTED ‘Quality Standards’ inspection framework. This is part of the ‘Children’s Homes Quality Standards Partnership’ being run by Action for Children and the ‘Who Cares Trust’ on behalf of the Dept. for Education.

This work gave us direct and powerful insight into the work being carried out by people in very challenging situations across a whole range of services. We heard moving stories of how children’s home staff are helping very traumatised children and young people to work through profound difficulties, and going the extra mile to build trusting relationships to enable them to grow emotionally, and to develop an authentic sense of belonging to ‘people and place’.

Unfortunately we had to cancel our Newcastle day conference ‘Pushing the limits of Permanence’ in partnership with CELCIS, the Care Leavers Association and Care Forum Wales. In relation to the work I describe above, the need for extending residential placements for young people to match those in foster care remains vital if we are to provide real continuity and stability of placement for traumatised young people. We are meeting to discuss reconvening the conference in the near future.

Forthcoming events:

  1. The next edition of ‘The Therapeutic Care Journal’ :

www.thetherapeuticcarejournal.org.uk, or

www.thetcj.org.uk

Published Thursday October 1st, with more fascinating and insightful articles by ‘reflective practitioners’ from across our sectors. Please sign up for the newsletter in the menu, and ask friends and colleagues to do the same. This will extend the reach of the journal to create better dialogue across the residential and fostering sectors.

You will also able to access the journal on the the new www.mulberrybush.org.uk website which is due to go live very soon, There will be a ‘National Centre’ tab on the homepage, which will take readers directly into the journal and NC information.

  1. Our next National Centre Research Group meeting will be held at the Mulberry  Bush School, Linden House Annexe, on Friday November 27thfrom 11- 2 pm ( with lunch). Our Chair Dr. Yvon Guest and I really look forward to meeting research group members which now number 50 from across 20 Universities. A programme for the day and directions will be sent out in advance.
  1. See attached flyer for the TCTC/Glyndwr Therapeutic Child Care conference to be held at Glyndwr University Wrexham, on November 10th. DrYvon Guest is presenting on her work, and I will be running a workshop about the National Centre alliance.
  1. Finally, we are working with the Universities of Essex, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies and ‘Childhood First,’ and Kent University, Centre for Child Protection, to run two cutting – edge conferences in the Spring of 2016. Watch this space for further details.

Wishing you all a productive Autumn !

Kind regards,

John Diamond.