Featured post


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/

Notice of changes to this Saturday’s Limbus event at Dartington on September, 19th. 2015

 Farhad Dalal has written to inform us that because of the demise of Kid’s Company, the speakers have asked him to adjust the title and the description of the event to reflect the current situation. The initial text can be read in a previous post on this page.

Jocelyne Quennell and Lizzie Smosrksi   
Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Working with Children and Young People
on Saturday September19th, 2015
Studio 3,The Space, Dartington Hall
Arrivals from 10am
10.30 to 1pm
Cost £20


This seminar/workshop will explore multi-disciplinary perspectives in the promotion of well-being for children and young people sharing influence from social work, youth work, mental health, therapy and education.

There will be opportunities for creativity and imagination in the discussion and reflective process. The emphasis is on creative and relational approaches to well-being which value the arts, sports, leisure, communications technology and complementary health.

The training has recently moved from Kids Company to the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education and Centre for Child Mental Health following in the tradition of developing holistic services which are genuinely child-centred, learning from vulnerable children how to care better and championing their needs and capabilities as agents of change.

Jocelyne Quennell and Lizzie Smosarski will jointly facilitate creative and relational processes on relevant themes. Jocelyne was formerly the Principal of the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education and has over twenty five years of experience working creatively and therapeutically with adults and children in health, education and social care. Lizzie is a child and adolescent psychotherapist working extensively through teaching and supervising practitioners. This pioneering training course has been designed to enhance the quality of work being delivered in services and to increase access to emotionally literate approaches to working with children and young people.

Jocelyne Quennell has been practicing as a psychotherapist for over twenty years and is Director of Education and Innovation at Kids Company. She is responsible for the Certificate in Therapeutic Communication Skills with Children and the Diploma in Well-being practice for Children and Young People. She was the former Principal of the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education where she worked to support the development Integrative Child Psychotherapy and Arts Psychotherapy courses. She was the course leader for the Sesame training in Drama and Movement Therapy at Central School of Speech and Drama and has a long held commitment to increasing access and enhancing the quality of therapeutic services for adults, children and families. She is inspired by emotional literacy through creative and relational approaches to well-being with experience in health, education and social care, in private, statutory and voluntary sectors. two adult children.


Lizzie Smosarksi is an integrative arts psychotherapist as well as a child and adolescent psychotherapist. She is responsible for training and education at Kids Company and has taught at both the Institute for Arts in Therapy and Education and Terapia. She has many years of experience as a supervisor and is committed to creative and relational approaches to wellbeing.

You can download a flyer here.

Future Limbus Events 2015/16 – Dates for your diary
Nov 14             Stephen Roundhill                    Neuropsychology in context
Feb 27             Otto Rheinschmeidt                  On Dreams
May 21             Margaret Landale                     Attunement & Empathy
Sep 17              Sally Sales                             TBA

Abstracts and biographies can be found on the Limbus website www.limbus.org.uk

Social Care and Child Welfare in Ireland – a book by Maurice Fenton


Maurice Fenton’s book Social Care and Child Welfare in Ireland Integrating Residential Care, Leaving Care and Aftercare will be published later this month, September, 2015. Although the contents are informed by child care in Ireland, the author and the publisher believe the text will be of interest to all involved in the care and support of children and young people who are not living with their own families.


Fenton full cover


The publisher and the author have sent us the following pre-publication notes about the book.

Social Care and Child Welfare in Ireland Integrating Residential Care, Leaving Care and After Care by Maurice Fenton

€39.95 (£34.95) ISBN 978-9080308-74-0      Paperback/September 2015/ 414 pages

This book addresses the major issue of social care and child welfare in the 21st century, and in particular the imperative to integrate residential child care, leaving care and aftercare in order to achieve are congruent system of care. Currently these areas are disconnected elements of a system of care, whereas in an integrated system they would be fully connected. The book is focused on the situation in Ireland but offers international relevance.

The foreword to Social Care and Child Welfare in Ireland Integrating Residential Care, Leaving Care and After Care is written by Professor John Pinkerton of the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queens University, Belfast.

An ecological perspective with recognition of the importance of both the child and the worker as dyadic elements within the system, is the focus throughout. The child’s perspective is presented through a biographical narrative of a former child in care and with case studies from the author’s practice experience. The workers’ perspective is addressed through detailed clinical analysis of the elements which constitute the profession of social care, which include practice, theory, approaches to care, policy, rights, research, legislation, social justice, professionalisation, privatisation and socio-political and socio-economic factors which impact on the profession of social care, and therefore children in care.

Through this analysis a nuanced and informed perspective, identifying both strengths and weaknesses is offered on the care system in Ireland in 2015. The book identifies significant deficiencies in the current aftercare services available in Ireland, and advocates of statutory entitlement to aftercare support for all care leavers. In benefit/cost analysis is provided to support such a change.

About the author

Maurice Fenton has worked at all levels in residential care, trainee to director, within the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. He founded Empower Ireland in 2009 to support care leavers in Ireland, and is an independent adviser and researcher with a particular interest in mentoring and social justice. He is scheduled to complete his doctorate at Queens University Belfast in 2016.

The Liffey Press, Rabeny Shopping Centre, Second Floor, Rabeny, Dublin 5.

Tel : 01 –8511 458.  Email: theliffeypress @gmail.com.

Web: www.theliffeypress.com

Limbus : confirmation of Kid’s Company event on September 19th, 2015

Farad Dalal of Limbus has written say, “Several people have contacted us to check whether this event is still going ahead given the disaster that has just befallen Kid’s Company. This is to reassure you – Yes It Is!”

This should prove to be a particularly interesting event given the current circumstances.
As always, you can book your place in advance through the website www.limbus.org.uk.

Kid’s Company: Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Working with Children and Young People
Presenters :  Jocelyne Quenelle and Lizzie Smosarkso

The event takes place at Studio 3, The Space, Dartington Hall, Dartington , Totnes
Arrivals from 10am
10.30 to 1pm
Cost £20.

You can download a flyer here.

Future Limbus Events for 2015/16 :

Nov 14             Stephen Roundhill                    Neuropsychology in context
Feb 27             Otto Rheinschmeidt                  On Dreams
May 21             Margaret Landale                     Attunement & Empathy
Sep 17              Sally Sales                             TBA

Abstracts and Biographies on website www.limbus.org.uk

“Care Leavers – Care For Your Health” EPIC and Care Leavers Ireland conference Dublin, October, 2015


Care Leavers Ireland/EPIC are  holding their 2nd Annual Care Leavers Conference Care Leavers  –  Care for your Health on October 8th. at Farmleigh House, Phoenix Park, Dublin.

For booking details go here

The conference is sponsored by Orchard Children’s Services.

The then and now of dealing with child poverty and its consequences in the United Kingdom


Calling the 1940s through to the 1960s ‘a golden age for child care’ Bob Holman in his book, Champions for Children The lives of modern child care pioneers, which recounts the lives of Eleanor Rathbone, Marjory Allen, Clare Winnicott, John Stroud, Barbara Kahan, Peter Townsend and Holman himself,  the author makes the following observations in his preface :

Yet from their varied lives, two themes appear in common. First, that central government had to accept responsibility for dealing with child poverty. It was not sufficient to leave it to employers, voluntary agencies or the charity of individuals. Second, that local government should be the provider of high quality service for deprived children. This was not to dismiss the contribution of the voluntary services, but was rather a recognition that only local authorities could ensure a coverage of such services throughout the country. These two themes…appear again and again throughout the book. They are not entirely separate, for the champions perceived that poverty was a major factor in undermining family life.

Some may baulk at the idea of separating out special charismatic champions from the field of support to children and families where so many others have achieved a great deal, but this should not distract us from what might be drawn from Holman’s observations. It seems surprising that during a time when the United Kingdom was struggling to overcome the economic difficulties it faced as a consequence of World War II, it remained able to afford so much more for its impoverished and needy families than it does now when, austerity or not, the United Kingdom is by any measure a significantly wealthier state.

This is a cause for concern not only because of the continuing cuts to the supportive services provided by local authorities and the voluntary sector for the increasing number of children and families from our communities who need our help but also because, as a part of the overall programme of cuts, these services are being farmed out with government encouragement to large private organisations to run on the cheap in order that they can make profit for themselves and their shareholders out of the poverty of others.


Source : Holman, R (2001 ) Champions for Children The lives of modern child care pioneer Bristol, Policy Press (2013)


CBT : science or economic propaganda ?

For some years now Cognitive Behavioural Therapies have successfully held the therapy field persuading governments and health authorities with claims that unlike other therapies, for instance, humanist or psychodynamic, the efficacy of CBT  is based on scientifically observed evidence.  While CBT may be helpful for some seeking help with anxiety, the claim that it is the panacea for all, including those who are suffering from severe anxieties, fears and other emotional stresses, surely deserves closer scrutiny.  Increasingly others are questioning the truth  that  CBT   is evidence-based. However CBT has powerful political and economic allies attracted by the various claims made that it is scripted and time-limited  and provides a one size fits all therapy.

Last November (2014), Limbus, an organisation which arranges Continued Professional Development  events for counsellors and psychotherapists in the south-west England held a national conference, Challenging the Cognitive Behavioural Therapies : The Overselling of CBT’s Evidence Base,  at the Dartington Hall near Totnes in Devon which sought to challenge the evidence provided to substantiate the claims made for CBT. The organiser of the conference, Farhad Dalal  has provided us with the following links to presentations made at the Dartington Conference and to other related papers. We offer them here because the predominance of CBT is increasingly evident in the support which is offered to children and young people.

We’ve provided below some to the papers and articles Farad Dalal has brought our notice to but there are more articles, blogs, videos of conference presentations and other resources available from this page on the Limbus website.

Conference Papers

Dalal, F. (2015)  Statistical Spin: Linguistic Obfuscation—The Art of Overselling the CBT Evidence Base

Shedler, J .(2015)  Where is the evidence base for evidence-based therapy?


Related Papers

Dalal, F. (2015)  Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: The Art of Overselling the CBT Evidence Base.

Ferraro, D.  (2015)   Torture, Psychology and the Neoliberal State.

Henrich, M., Heine,  J. & Norenzayan,S.  (2008)  The Weirdest People in the World

Greenhalgh, T. (2014)  Evidence based medicine: a movement in crisis?

Shedler, J.(2010)  Shedler (2010) The Efficacy of   Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Adams, S. (2008) Naughty not N.I.C.E.: Implications for therapy and services

Breen, L., Darlaston-Jones, D (2008)  Moving Beyond the Enduring Dominance of Positivism in Psychological Research

Longmore, R. and Worrell, M. (2007) Do we need to challenge thoughts in cognitive behavior therapy?

Samuels, A.& Veale, D.(2007) Improving Access to Psychological Therapies: For and Against

Western, D., Novotny,C., & Thompson,H.(2004 )The Empirical Status of Empirically Supported Psychotherapies: Assumptions, Findings, and Reporting in Controlled Clinical Trials

Richardson,L. (1997)
Skirting a Pleated Text De-Disciplining an Academic Life


Risen, J. (2015) Outside Psychologists Shielded U.S. Torture Program, Report Finds

Callard, C and Stearn, R. (2015) IAPT, Benefits, & the Unemployed 

All these documents and much more can be found at Limbus.

Adults in the role of experts to children


“Children unavoidably treat their parents as though they were experts on life. They, and other adults, are the people from whom the child learns what is necessary. But the extent to which children make demands on adults which the adults don’t know what to do with is not sufficiently remarked on. It is, for example, clear to everyone concerned that the adults are unable to answer, in any satisfactory way, several of the child’s questions. The so-called facts of life are hardly a convincing answer – for anybody – to the question of why people have sex, or where babies are from. Whether children are amusing, or irritating, or ‘little philosophers’, once they learn to talk they create, and suffer, a certain unease about what they can do with words. Paradoxically, it is the adults’ own currency – words – that reveals to them the limits of adult authority. The adults are not fully competent with their own tools, but there is nobody else for the child to appeal to. Children go on asking but eventually they have to settle for the adult’s exhausted impatience and the fictions of life. ‘In the unconscious,’ Freud wrote in The Interpretation of Dreams, ‘nothing can be brought to an end, nothing is past or forgotten.’ Curiosity is endless, as every parent knows, in a way that answers are not.”

Adam Phillips (1994)


Source : an extract from ‘The Experts’ by the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips in The London Review of Books Vol. 16 No. 24 · 22 December 1994.



Bertrand Russell on parental love

“Not only must children not be commanded to love their parents, but nothing must be done which has this result as their object. Parental affection, at its best, differs from sex love in this respect. It is of essence of sex love to seek a response, as is natural,since without a response, it cannot fulfil its biological function. But it is not the essence of parent love to seek a purpose.”

Bertrand Russell, 1951



Russell, B. (1926) On Education    London, Unwin Books (1964,  p104)


What’s happened to childhood ?

This is a link to the video-cast of a Gresham College lecture What’s happened to childhood? delivered in February, 2014, by Professor Hugh Cunningham of the University of Kent .

greshamIn our current social, cultural, political and economic climate, some may feel that the underlying themes of the presentation have ever increasing pertinence.  You can watch and listen to Professor Cunningham  : here


Parental love in the 21st century : something to ponder.

“One of the difficulties attending parental love in our cultural moment is that the child, and first of all, the baby, has become the focus all so much expert know –how alongside so many redemptive hopes. Bringing up children now often seems to require a concentration of programmatic activity and consumerist expenditure so intense that love can flip into frustration and disappointment, though this may have Little to do with the child’s own individuality. The pleasures of love too often seem to have been displaced by a work and a production ethic in which parental achievement is judged by effort and by the honed product at its ever receding terminus.”

From All About Love Anatomy of an Unruly Emotion by Lisa Appignanesi (p289, 2011).