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goodenoughcaring.com is an arena for the discussion of  issues of interest to parents, foster parents, residential child care workers, counsellors, youth support workers, social workers, teachers, mentors, social pedagogues,  educateurs  and to young people who are, and adults who have been, in care. If you are interested in, or involved in the care,upbringing and education of  children and young people or in the nurturing of children and young people who are unable to live with their own families  goodenoughcaring.com  is a site for you. The website welcomes  thoughtful views – personal, practical or theoretical –  about the care of children and young people.  If you want to comment about  child care or about goodenoughcaring.com  then  e mail:  goodenoughcaring@icloud.com

The goodenoughcaring.com site is archived at the British Library.

The goodenoughcaring journal is an online publication which invites anyone wishing to publish papers and articles about  parenting, nurture, child care work and related fields or those wishing to write about their child care experiences to submit as e mail attachments  papers or articles for publication to the editors at goodenoughcaring@icloud.com.

The members of the editorial group are Cynthia Cross, Evelyn Daniel, Siobain Degregorio, Jeremy Millar, Jane Kenny, Ariola Vishnja, Mark Smith, John Stein and Charles Sharpe. The current issue was published online on 18th, June, 2014 and  the next issue will be published on December 15th,  2014. The Journal index can be found at http://www.goodenoughcaring.com/the-journal/

“The Stolen Child” – a new book by Maurice Fenton




The Stolen Child  –   the latest book by Maurice Fenton is now published. It is available on Amazon at


The Stolen Child was Inspired by articles Maurice Fenton published in recent issues of the goodenoughcaring Journal. His book portrays the stolen lives of young people in care and considers the importance of caring for young people in a human, compassionate and professional manner. Drawing on the writings of WB Yeats and Carl Jung and others the author reflects on his own work with children and young people. The Stolen Child will be reviewed in December’s issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal.

A review of Maurice Fenton’s previous book Social Care and Child Welfare in Ireland:  integrating residential care, leaving care and after care can be found  here.

Call for Papers : Special Issue of the Journal of Social Work Practice on residential child care.

Laura Steckley has written to us about a special issue of the Journal of Social Work Practice which she is editing.

Special Issue :  psychodynamic and systems theories perspectives on residential child care

Call for Papers

Abstracts due :  14th November, 2016

While the theoretical roots of residential child care practice are firmly grounded in psychodynamic thinking (Bettelheim, 1950; Redl & Wineman, 1952; Winnicott & Britton, 1947), explicitly psychodynamic approaches to theorisation and practice have been declining over recent decades (Mann, 2003; Sharpe, 2006). At the same time, consensus continues to grow across professional traditions and across continents in relation to the central importance of relationships in considering the needs of children and young people in residential child care (Kendrick, Steckley, & McPheat, 2011). Psychodynamic and systems theories have explanatory power for making sense of and informing the way we do relationships in residential child care.

This special issue invites papers on residential child care that incorporate psychodynamic and systems theories thinking in their broadest sense (i.e. papers which focus on ways of understanding interpersonal and organisational processes and dynamics in residential settings for children and young people). Areas of exploration might include (but are not limited to):

  • the place of psychodynamics and systems theory in education and training for residential child care;
  • particular psychodynamic or systems theory concepts and their utility in informing practice;
  • synergies and/or tensions between psychodynamic and other traditions in residential childcare;
  • ways in which psychodynamic thinking can inform a more useful construction of ‘professional’in residential milieux;
  • systems theory perspectives on consultancy in residential child care;
  • experiences of care or practice from a psychodynamic perspective;
  • the impact of managerialism on individuals’ and organisations’ interpersonal processes.

Papers are strongly encouraged from practitioners and care leavers as well as academics and educators; perspectives from traditions of residential child care other than social work (e.g. child and youth care, social pedagogy, orphanages) are also warmly invited. Both shorter pieces reflecting voices from practice or care experiences (3,000 words or fewer), and longer articles (6,500 words maximum) are sought. Please consult the Journal’s Instructions for Authors http://www.tandfonline.com/action/authorSub- mission?journalCode=cjsw20&page=instructions#.Vx9-hNQguM8 for more detailed guidance.

If it would be useful to talk through your ideas for an article, I would be happy to communicate with you by e-mail, Skype or phone. Please send abstracts of 250–500 words for proposed papers (by 14 November) to: Laura.L.Steckley@strath.ac.uk


Bettelheim, B. (1950) Love is not enough, Free Press, NewYork, NY.

Kendrick, A., Steckley, L. & McPheat, G. (2011) ‘Residential child care: Learning from international comparisons’, in Early Professional Development for Social Workers, eds

R. Taylor, M. Hill & F. McNeill, Venture Press/BASW, Birmingham, AL, pp. 144–158. Mann, V. (2003) ‘Attachment and discipline’, Relational Child and Youth Care Practice, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 10–14.
Redl, F. & Wineman, D. (1952) Controls from within: Techniques for the treatment of the aggressive child, The Free Press, NewYork, NY.

Sharpe, C. (2006) ‘Residential child care and the psychodynamic approach: Is it time to try again?’, Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 46–56.

Winnicott, D. W. & Britton, C. (1947) ‘Residential management as treatment for difficult children: The evolution of a wartime hostels scheme’, Human Relations, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 87–97.

The Next Limbus Lecture at Dartington


Farad Dalal writes to remind us about  the next Limbus Lecture on September 17 and about future Limbus events at Dartington.

Sept 17, Sally Sales  ‘Intensely in danger, intensely attached: Childhood and new practices of
Mothering in a contemporary culture of risk’
10.30 to 1pm. £20
On Line Booking through the website is now open (recommended)
Or come and pay at the door.

If you intend to pay at the door, please arrive well before 10.30 to avoid holdups.

Full Details can be found on the Limbus website: www.limbus.org.uk

Abstract: This paper will be an exploration of mothering and childhood today. The paper will be
proposing that how we mother and how we regard children has undergone a shift in the last 20
years.  Drawing on arange of sociological research and the authors own clinical practice,
Sally Sales will suggest that there has been an intensification in thefield of mother child
relationships framed by a social and personal concern with risk.  Assessing risk now dominates
parenting practices and childhood has become an enormously surveillanced area ofintimate
life.  What kind of children are we now raising and what kind of experience has mothering

become in these new conditions of vigilance and danger.

Dr Sally Sales is a psychoanalyst in private practice and chair of training for the Site for
Contemporary Psychoanalysis in Cornwall.  She is also a visiting research fellow at University of
West of England where she is running a project on adoption and class.  Her most recent
publications are: ‘Contested attachments: re-thinking adoptive kinship in the era of open
adoption’ (2013) Child & Family Social Work) and Adoption, Family and the Paradox of Origins: A
Foucauldian History (2012) Basingstoke: Palsgrave MacMillan.


The Following Event will be on :
Nov 12, with Margaret Landale ‘The Present Moment -Cultivating embodied attainment and empathy’


And even earlier notice of our 2017 programme – put the dates in your diary!

Feb 25, Kelly Camilleri
May 20, Sally Weintrobe
Sep 16, Paul Zeal
Nov 11, Sue Mizen

An essay about the nature of the residential child carer

A new essay by Charles Sharpe The nature of a residential child carer is now online in Writings. Though not intended to be a definitive statement on residential child care – in recent years a much maligned project – it describes it in a positive sense and opens aspects of its potential to help children who may not, immediately at least, be helped in a family care setting.


Something to consider : Winnicott on Adolescence

“It comes down to a problem of: how to be adolescent during adolescence? This is an extremely brave thing for anybody to be. It does not mean that we grown-ups have to be saying: ‘Look at these dear little adolescents having their adolescence; we must put up with everything and let our windows get broken.’ This is not the point. The point is that we are challenged and we meet the challenge as part of the function of adult living. But we meet the challenge rather than set out to cure what is essentially healthy.
The big threat from the adolescent is the threat to the bit of ourselves that has not really had its adolescence. This bit of ourselves makes us resent these people being able to have their phase of the doldrums and makes us want to find a solution for them. There are hundreds of false solutions. Anything we say or do is wrong. We give support and we are wrong, we withdraw support and that is wrong too. We dare not be ‘understanding’. But in the course of time we find that this adolescent boy and this adolescent girl has come out of the doldrums phase and is now able to begin identifying with society, with parents, and with wider groups, and to do so without feeling threatened with personal extinction.”

Extracted from:  D. W. Winnicott, Clare Winnicott, Ray Shepherd & Madeleine Davis. Deprivation and Delinquency. iBooks.  First published by Tavistock Publications, London, 1984


A review of residential care in England

A report commissioned by the prime minister and the Department for Education in October last year was published today,  July 4th, 2016.

Residential Child Care is the report of an independent review carried out by Sir Martin Narey. The full text of the review can be found at


Celebrating Mental Health and Keeping Cool : Cool Rethink Summer Party


Claudia Benzies has sent an announcement of a special event to held in Totnes on July 22nd. 2016. A Cool Rethink Summer Party will be held on Friday, July 22nd at the Royal Seven Stars Ballroom, Totnes, TQ9 5PN.

You are invited to drop by and have some fun, meet & make friends, try something different, and to learn & share.

There will be activities throughout the day.


10.00-17.00 South Hams Community & Voluntary Services; information & support for volunteers & voluntary groups

10.30-17.00 Rethink, peer support, information

11.00-14.00 Bridge Collective (Exeter) an opportunity for voice-hearers to share their experiences with others and to raise awareness.

11.30-12.30 Boxing /Body Rehab session -Ash Hill

11.00-16.00 Making bunting for your festival tent, windbreak and garden party with Pam

12.00-13.00 Bartons Solicitors : Talk on Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney with a Q and A session.


12.30-17.00 Recovery Devon information, display stand, leaflets, learning College – James Woolridge

13.00-16.00 Drink Wise, Age Well display and information stand

14.00-15.00 Managing Stress – Katie Porkess

15.00-16.00 Boxing /Body Rehab session

15.30-17.00 Cream Teas (£2) & music with John Connor

16.00-17.30 Anger Management – Kate Smith, Cool Therapies

17.00-18.00 Writing your story
- Amanda Cuthbert

18.00-19.00 Introduction to Kung Fu. Qi Gong/Shibashi – Matt Bindon

19.00-20.00 Qi Gong session
_ Matt Bindon

TBC Time Out with Hector Krome (Talk)

& more ………..

All Day 

Cool Art exhibition

Rethink mental illiness : display stand, leaflets, starting a peer group & more

For more information contact Claudia Benzies on 07712210300, Or Email  help&hope@rethink.org   Mobile 07756965814


PETT Summer !!! Richard Rollinson writes :

Holding the future in our hands:

An invitation from the Director of the Planned Environment Therapy Trust

 Put on your thinking caps, get ready to work…

…and join us at 11 a.m. on Friday July 15th, to reflect on all that we have achieved over the past 50 years, to think about the next 50 years, to enjoy lunch, and to do more thinking and working together during the afternoon. (We aim to let people go by 4.30!)

As we progress through our 50th Anniversary year we want to bring friends and supporters together to share a discussion of where we are, and how and where we can go from here into our next 50 years – identifying and discussing the current challenges we face and the potential opportunities we hold.

For my full invitation for this important event, please click THIS LINK.

To RSVP – we need to know how much food to prepare! – please click THIS LINK.

Many many many thanks!
And please join us!

Richard Rollinson, Director

on behalf of PETT’s Trustees and members of the staff team

(Some overnight accommodation is still available on the night before)
Read the latest PETT newsletter in full here

June 15th, 2016 : Issue 19 of the goodenoughcaring Journal is now online

June 15th, 2016 :  Issue 19 of the  goodenoughcaring Journal is now online. In this issue Cynthia Cross writes about children and families attending reviews, Maurice Fenton reflects upon Yeats, Jung and Adolescence,  John Stein considers the nature of feedback, Noel Howard gives an account of  the history of the Irish social care journal Curam which published its 50th issue earlier this year and gives a context to developments in social care in recent decades,  Michael J. Marlowe explores the connection between good relationships and trust,  Justin Frost reviews the film The War ZoneLesley Morrison writes about residential child care, Charles Sharpe looks at Ian D. Suttie’s ‘attachment to mother’ theory and George Eliot writes about family life in the 1820s. Our Editors think about community and communities. We hope  there is something to interest you in this issue.

Issue 20 of the goodenoughcaring Journal will be published on December 15th, 2016