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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/

A pause for thought : Single Mothers

Pause for thought : Single Mothers

 

The following is a short extract from an extensive and intense essay, “Mothers” written by Jacqueline Rose and published in Volume 36, Number 12 of the June 19th, 2014 issue of the London Review of Books p17-22. The full text of the essay can be accessed at http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n12/jacqueline-rose/mothers

This autumn Jacqueleine Rose becomes the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Professor of Gender Studies at Cambridge University.

 

A single mother stands as a glaring rebuke to the ideal. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the number of single mothers in this country rose faster than at any other time in history, seemingly unaffected by an increasingly strident Conservative rhetoric of blame. The most pervasive image was of an unemployed teenager who had deliberately got herself pregnant in order to claim benefits, although as Pat Thane and Tanya Evans point out in Sinners? Scroungers? Saints?*, their study of 20th century unmarried motherhood, she was ‘very rarely to be found’. Over the past century single mothers have variously been one or other or all three of those epithets, the first and last stringing them between opprobrium and holiness (neither of this world), the second more prosaically casting them as objects of moral contempt. The single mother, it seems, was the original ‘scrounger’ the terms which allows a cruelly unequal society to turn its back on those it has thrown on the scrapheap. This manipulative, undeserving mother was the perfect embodiment of the ‘dependency’ culture, an idea which is being revived today in order to justify an ever more thorough dismantling of the welfare state. It is also worth noting how far her vulnerability and her needs, not to speak of those of the children for whom she has sole responsibility, seem to count against her   -   lone parents, especially unmarried mothers, are still today one of the poorest groups in Britain.

 

 

* Sinners? Scroungers? Saints Unmarried Motherhood in 20th Century England by Pat Thane and Tanya Evans (Oxford, 240pp., August 2013, 978 0 19 968198 3).

“Home Truths” about the struggle for survival of children’s homes

Jonathan Stanley, the Chief Executive Officer for the Independent Children’s Homes and of the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child care has written to us about a new report which Children’s homes providers have published, ‘Home Truths – The state of independent residential child care 2014.
He suggests, “No other report has ever contained such a level of concern for the present and future of Residential Child Care.  It looks at the current situation, records experiences and charts the potential futures of what the authors see as an ‘unprecedented culture of anti-residential feeling.’”
In launching the report Jonathan  said, “The sector meets extraordinary needs with extraordinary responses yet is under-estimated, under-valued and under-funded.  Though providers have embraced reform, the report shows our nation’s homes do not have the necessary firm foundation for their future.  To change this situation will require Government-led clear strategic direction, commitment, creativity and courage.  We need people to step up for Residential Child Care.”
He believes “Alarm bells must start ringing. It has to be of major concern that this vital sector is experiencing demoralisation and fears irrevocable damage through its further diminution and contraction, even collapse, as providers disappear.  We are very far away from the one common shared future for Residential Child Care that is needed, to ensure the continuation of the specialism, safety and choice our young people need.”
The report sees children’s homes as necessary and needed, highly regulated, with a workforce of experienced, knowledgeable and committed professionals offering versatility, diversity and flexibility, in the very complex and difficult task of meeting the needs of the most vulnerable and challenging group of young people in the UK.
Providers report fees from local authorities being driven down to unsustainable levels, regardless of the quality of the provision and call for an end to what they call local authorities ‘in-house-ism’, where their own resources are used first often leading to increased moves for a young person.  The report makes the call for new thinking, collaborative work between local authorities and providers to get the ‘right child in the right place – first time!’  The providers see costs frequently being prioritised over care considerations.  They also see that standardised benchmarking for needs/behaviours across all local authorities will assist in giving an accurate indication of the needs of the young person.
The providers seek a new partnership with Ofsted away from what is reported as a ‘toxic environment,’ arising from experiences of individual inspector interpretation and adversarial and attritional inspection.  One result given in the report is of providers acting to maintain good or outstanding ratings, by reducing the level of needs they previously admitted, resulting in some young people not having access to the services they need.  The report calls for inspections directed to improvement.
The providers call for an ambitious review of qualifications, radically changing the current requirements and delivery, and look to something similar to the professional teacher’s qualification.
____________________________

Goodbye, Mr Gove

It is a relief of sorts that Michael Gove has become the former Secretary for Education. Mr. Gove may have talents in a number of  fields but surely most with a thoughtful approach to how children might be reared and educated would not see his talents as lying in the field of children’s growth and learning. The post of government Chief Whip seems more suited to him.  Mr Gove has presided over many cuts to children’s services and driven through such reactionary changes to the education system as the free schools and the academy programmes. It is evident these last two have tended to be anything but free and are there only to support the needs of special interest groups, to provide fat profits for private companies and to serve those who have a vested interest in maintaining privilege and wealth for the powerful few.
Freedom has not been served by Mr. Gove’s  support for “conned by rote” learning, a method free of imagination and creativity which serves  to dull the mind and rear more zombies for an economic system which pays them just enough to keep quiet about the gravitation of undue wealth towards less than 10% of the world population while an increasing number live in abject poverty in an environment which is all too often “free” of education.
Perhaps, in relation to education in England, as we say “Goodbye,Mr. Gove,” we should not forget, that though he may have been one of the most divisive and destructive of education ministers, the seeds of what he allowed to grow were planted by the previous Labour government. It is to be hoped that with Mr.Gove’s departure  those in all political parties with a responsibility for the education and nurture of our children will now heed more considered, better informed counsel and that soon all our children services will truly meet the needs of each child, encourage imagination and creativity rather than serve the threats of a selfish discredited economic system.

CELCIS 2014 conference: “We are Family”

The Centre for Excellence for looked after children in Scotland has written to us to say that Early Bird booking for the CELCIS 2014: We are family is available until 30the June, and there is still have time to book at the discounted rate, with a saving of over 10%.
The conference aims to explore the question ‘how can we ensure looked after children and care leavers feel part of a nurturing family?’. It will consider the reality of what ‘family’ means to looked after children and care leavers; including birth families, adoptive families, foster / kinship / residential families and wider corporate families.
It will also explore what it means to be a corporate parent in Scotland from 2015 and will examine the practical implications of the Getting It Right for Every Child agenda, the new Children and Young People (Scotland) Act and the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act.
Keynote speakers are Dr Tony Bates, Founding Director of the National Centre for Youth Mental Health in Ireland and Frank Cottrell Boyce, screenwriter and novelist. Parallel sessions include contributions from Aberdeen City Council, St Roch’s Secondary School in Glasgow, and Foster Care Associates. Scotland.
The conference takes places on Wednesday, 8th October, 2014 at the Perth Concert Hall.
Cost: Early bird rate for three or more delegates £100, early bird single delegate £120.

For further information visit the CELCIS website.

Another View on the Intentions of Scotland’s 16 and 17 years old voters

 

More High School Wins For Yes

Yes Scotland continued to notch up more high school debate wins, with a trio of successes, including victories in Scotland’s biggest cities.

A debate at St Mungo’s Academy in Glasgow  saw the Yes side win 59% of the vote, with No on 23% and 18% undecided.

Michael Gray, an activist from the city emphasised Scotland’s firm financial foundations at the Bridgeton school, including how we’re the 14th wealthiest country, ahead of the UK, France and Japan.

Alison Johnstone MSP and Kenny MacAskill MSP led Yes Scotland to overturn a pre-poll shortfall of 17 points into a 56% victory.

Ms Johnstone told her audience that an independent Scotland could create a written constitution, enshrining many of the country’s values and fundamental policies.

Alison Johnstone, Lothian’s Green MSP said: ‘I was delighted to speak at Gracemount High. The pupils had clearly done their preparation so it was a lively and engaged debate, just as it should be.

“The speakers for No kept repeating that we don’t have to change the UK’s constitution to see progress, but I argued that one of the big opportunities from independence for young people was to enshrine values like free education in a modern, written constitution. More and more young people are realising that they can be part of a generation that votes Yes to take control of Scotland’s future.”

This morning, Gavin Lundy, a member of Generation Yes, defeated local MSP Margaret McDougall at Garnock Academy in North Ayrshire.

Gavin increased the Yes vote by 24% to see the pro-independence side win the post-debate poll by 54% for Yes and 46% for No.

Sarah-Jane Walls, Yes Scotland’s Operations Manager said: “David Cameron blundered by saying that Yes hasn’t won a single school debate, which simply isn’t true. These comprehensive victories add to the steady flow of young moving over to Yes.

“Many of Scotland’s young people are realising that we can continue with free higher education and secure the powers needed to grow the economy and create more jobs with a Yes vote.”

 

Source http://www.yesscotland.net/news/more-high-school-debate-wins-yes

Limbus Critical Psychotherapy Conference

 

Challenging The Cognitive Behavioural Therapies : The Overselling of CBT’s Evidence Bases

 

 

November  1st and 2nd, 2014

 

Untitled

Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon, England

Programme

Jonathan Shedler – Where is the Evidence Based Therapy?

Hannah Sitter Randen – The Story of CBT  in Sweden: Its Rise and Fall

Del Loewenthal – NICE work if you can get it: Evidence and Research as Cultural, Politically Influenced Practices

Oliver James – Happiness, CBT and Apple Pie

Farhad Dalal – Statistical Spin, Linguistic Obfuscation: the Art of Overselling

Sarah Wollaston (MP  for Totnes) – Chair of Panel Discussion

_________

Register now for £115; full fee after June 30th, £130

at  www.limbus.org.uk/cbt

___________________________________________

Issue 15 of the goodenoughcaring Journal is served

The 15th issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal is now on the table. Given the interest in the general affairs of Scotland this year, we are serving up a Scottish flavoured goodenoughcaring Journal. Though showing distinct signs of have taken in on its travels, Arbroath Smokies, Cullen Skink, Stovies, Dundee Cake, Deep-fried Mars Bars,  and Irn Bru. Issue 15 of the goodenoughcaring Journal contains dishes garnered from the other region of interest in this issue: residential child care.

You will find in this feast , articles dealing with childhood in Scotland, others considering matters specific to residential child care, and still others about residential care and Scotland . We hope this menu has something which you will savour.

The authors providing the fare are Kevin Ball, John BurnsideCynthia Cross,  David Divine, Ni Holmes, Noel Howard, Alan Macquarrie, Jeremy Millar, A.S.Neill, Charles Sharpe, Mark Smith, Laura Steckley, John Stein, R.L.Stevenson, Calum Strathie, and Adrian Ward.

We hope that after taking in the Journal you will feel encouraged to write an article for our next issue in December.

Click here for the Journal and for access to all the articles from previous issues.

Social Care : Learning from Practice  -  new book from Ireland

The Dublin publishers Gill & Macmillan announce the publication of Social Care : Learning from Practice edited by Noel Howard and Denise Lyons. Noel Howard has been a generous contributor of articles to the goodenoughcaring Journal. The book is written by social care workers and draws on insightful stories of practice key issues that impact the social care of children and young people today. It offers a wealth of practical knowledge from the experiences of social care workers who have worked with different groups in diverse settings. If you wish to learn more about this book or if you are interested in purchasing it please go to Social Care : Learning from Practice

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Noel Howard is a retired social care worker and manager. He is the founder member and secretary of Social Care Ireland and is Chair of Care Leavers Ireland. He has written on social care work and edits publications for the Irish Association of Social Care Workers.

Denise Lyons is a lecturer in the Department of Humanities, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, and has worked as a social care worker in residential care for several years. She is also an art therapist and the editor of Creative Studies for the Caring Professions (Gill & Macmillan). Denise is currently the President of Social Care Ireland.

Social Care : Learning from Practice will be reviewed in the December 2014 issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal.

Down from the mountain and into the glen comes Issue 15 of the goodenoughcaring Journal

The road from Braedownie, Glen Clova

 

Issue  15 of the goodenoughcaring Journal will come down  from the mountains and into the glens on Sunday, June15th, 2014.  Given the international interest in affairs Scottish this year one of the themes in this issue is Scotland and childhood and a spectrum of articles emanating from Scotland written for us by David DivineNi Holmes, Jeremy Millar, Mark Smith, Laura Steckley, Calum Strathie, and Charles Sharpe may to an  extent speak in different ways of the experience and meaning of childhood, child care and education in Scotland in the past and present but in the main they  have an eye to the future of the upbringing of children both in Scotland and further afield. Supporting these are two rarely seen pieces by A.S. Neill and Robert Louis Stevenson and  an extract from The Legends of Scottish Saints edited and translated from the Aberdeen Breviary by Alan Macquarrie.

In other articles, Noel Howard  critically examines the new Child and Family Agency in Ireland while following the wide interest shown in his first article, Kevin Ball has written us a sequel which considers the principles which guide the Independent Regulation 33 Visitor to children’s homes.  Cynthia Cross writes about the enigma of staff relationships in residential child care, John Stein considers relationship with parents in residential child care, Charles Sharpe reviews Adrian Ward’s new book on leadership in residential child care and Adrian Ward tells us how it came to be written.

Leadership in Residential Child Care  a relationship-based approach : a new book from Adrian Ward

 

leadership

 

The Smokehouse Press of Norwich are publishing Adrian Ward’s new book Leadership in Residential Child Care  a relationship-based approach. (ISBN 9780957633537)

The book will be the subject of a full review in the June 15th issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal and an article by Adrian Ward telling the story of how the book came to be written will also be published.

In 2007 Adrian Ward was commissioned by the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care to write a paper on  Leadership in Residential Child Care. This paper was available for some years from the National Children’s Bureau website and was one of its most popular downloads, but until now has only been available in that form. Adrian Ward has now written a revised and greatly expanded version of this influential monograph, and it is published as a hardback volume for the first time.

Covering a wide range of themes from leadership style to unconscious dynamics of leadership, this is a personally argued account of the critical role of the manager or head of home, focusing also on the leader’s  needs for support and consultation. The author illuminates his writing with examples of real life incidents in residential child care.

Although focused very much on the child care setting, the book also has a resonance for those in leadership roles in other professional settings.

Writing about the book Professor Jim Anglin of the School of Child and Youth Care, University of Victoria BC, Canada, says, “Finally we have a book on leadership that is fully congruent with the principles and practice of therapeutic residential child care. It contains an immense amount of insight, wisdom and real life examples in a deceptively concise fashion. It is an instant classic. For managers, directors and supervisors it will be like having an expert personal consultant at your side at all times – this is a GREAT CONTRIBUTION TO OUR FIELD”.

The author and the publishers have insisted on creating  a beautifully bound hard back volume. It can only be purchased through the publishers Smokehouse Press at http://smokehousepress.co.uk at the price of £18 plus p & p.