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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/

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

Issue 19 of the goodenoughcaring goes online on June 15th

Issue 19 of the goodenoughcaring Journal goes online on Wednesday, 15th June, 2016. 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 Zone, Lesley 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.

“Where love rules, there is no will to power” : another idea to ponder.



“Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.”

C.J Jung


Jung no doubt generalised this to all relationships between human beings and human groups and as a maxim it seems to ring true. Is it congruent with  parent/child relationships or carer/child relationships ? Is love enough ?

Unity through Relationship Annual Conference, November 2016: Call for Papers


Maurice Fenton sends this Call for Papers for Unity through Relationship’s  annual conference in Dublin. Unity through Relationship is a partnership between Empower Ireland, Gateway Organisation, CYC-Net and Transform Action International.


The Ecology & Impact of Trauma: Relational Responses to Disrupted Development

7th – 9th November 2016
Regency Airport Hotel (Whitehall), Dublin, Ireland

At this time we are sending out a Call for Papers for the 3rd annual ‘Unity through Relationship’ International Conference, an inclusive learning & development event which builds and strengthens connections, relationships and interdisciplinary working. All who are involved in the provision of care and services to children, youth and families are welcomed, including but not limited to: front-line practitioners (social work, social care, teachers, family support staff), clinicians, educators, justice professionals, mental health staff, researchers, managers, carers and students.


Conference theme: The impact of trauma on mental health and relational responses.
We all begin our physical, mental and social development from the moment of conception, a process, which, even at that early stage, is influenced by genetic and inter-generational factors. As we travel along our life course we encounter many factors within our ‘ecology’ and these can impact on our development. Positive and nurturing factors augment healthy development and resilience. However, the converse is also true, negative experiences can stunt or arrest development. We refer to such deeply distressing experiences as ‘trauma’. It is here that the conference has its foundation.

In 2016, the Unity conference is seeking to draw from the expert knowledge of colleagues who have particular interest in the understanding of how ‘’disruption within ones ecology’’ can impact on growth and development. This includes pre-birth disruption (such as contributes to syndromes such as FASD), abuse/neglect and any other type of event which can contribute that what is seen to be a ‘mental health issue’. A focus should also be on how we can optimally respond to such trauma using relational approaches.

The objectives of this 3-day conference are (within a relational framework):

i)  to provide a forum to present thinking and share the views and practice experiences;
ii)  to aid carers and professionals to understanding how early and inter-generational trauma can impact on the mental health needs of young people;
iii)  to share progressive and contemporary knowledge, with a focus on a relational response.

At this time we are sending out a Call for Papers seeking applications to contribute to the conference. If you have an idea you would like to propose or want some help with the application process, we will be happy to provide support. This conference will be innovative, programmatic, participative, comparative, critical and empowering.

We are also seeking expressions of interest from prospective presenters who may have associated 1 or 2 days trainings which they would be willing to deliver on the Thursday 10th and Friday 11th as part of a suite of trainings related to the conference theme being made available as we have done in each of the previous events. This has proven to be an excellent opportunity to make available innovative trainings that may otherwise not be accessible and thereby positively influence practice. It is also an opportunity for professionals to make available trainings that they may be in the process of developing.

Submissions can be made at  http://unitythroughrelationship.com/call-for-papers/ or alternatively forms can be downloaded from the website or are available from and must be completed and returned to: info@empowerireland.com prior to 16th May 2016

Website: www.unitythroughrelationship.com

Bookings via Eventbrite @ http://www.unitythroughrelationship.eventbrite.ie/

‘Balancing Care :  Recognition and regulation in the Era of Professionalisation’ Social Care Ireland’s Annual Conference, April 2016 .


Social Care ireland’s  2016 National Conference ‘Balancing Care: Recognition and regulation in the Era of Professionalisation’  takes place on Thursday 14th and 15th of April at the Killashee House Hotel , Naas, County Kildare.

The keynote speakers are Denise Lyons, Fred McBride, Mark Smith, Ginny Harrahan and Ben Charnaud.

There will be further parallel presentations and workshops from EPIC*, John Digney, Maxwell Smart, Carol McGinty, MacGowan, Hazel Gough, Karen Sugrue, Aoife Colleen, Lillian Byrne, Drew Murphy, D.Wiliams and F. McSweeney, Mary Hardiman, Carlos Kelly, Catherine Byrne, Leon Ledwidge, Mark Smith, Ben Charnaud, Dan Lawrence, Lhara Mullins, Sharon Horan, Pat McGarty, P.J. Garnett, Attracta Brennan, Fiona Walshe, Judy Doyle, Anne-Marie Shier, John McHugh, Denis O’Driscoll, David Power, Darragh MacCullagh, Jonathan McGookin and Adrian McKenna.

*Empowering People in Care

Full conference attendance , students discounts, and day attendance tickets are available. Bookings can be made at www.socialcareireland.ie

Liberating Institutions, a paper by John Burton published by the Centre for Welfare Reform

In what many believe to be a critical time for our social care system The Centre for Welfare Reform has  just published an exigent and apposite discussion paper by John Burton, Liberating Institutions. In this discussion paper John describes the way in which care homes and the people who live and work in them are subjugated and constricted by a social care system run and regulated for the benefit, protection and preservation of an elite of – mostly well-meaning – politicians, bureaucrats, care organisations and in a large part for the profits of owners and shareholders.

However, the author believes that there is an alternative, more hopeful, way to look at the same picture. In every care home there is another sort of institution trying to get out: a community formed of people in mutual caring relationships in search of self-determination, empowerment and liberation.

John’s paper can be downloaded from The Centre for Welfare Reform’s website here

Over a number of  years John Burton, an eminent author on social care issues, has been a generous contributor of articles to the goodenoughcaring Journal.


Kilquhanity School and John Aikenhead


Though perhaps less well-known than his friend and mentor from the progressive school movement A.S. Neill,  John Aikenhead, who in 1940 founded Kilquhanity School near Castle Douglas in Scotland was a Scottish educationalist who believed children should be happy at school and encouraged to learn through their own discoveries. He did not believe that learning could be fully achieved by following without question the imperatives of external authorities. He celebrated humanity and its capacity sometimes to achieve things through first getting them wrong and as a consequence of this,  then getting them right. Hence the  Kilquhanity School motto “Freedom, Equality and Inefficiency” is not entirely tongue in cheek.  John Aikenhead, and his wife Morag Aikenhead saw the Kilquhanity School ‘the experiment in education’ through from 1940 until the school closed in 1997 when Aikenhead felt that a natural end had been reached.

You can find more about John Aikenhead  and Kilquhanity School at http://www.braehead.info/html/50_years_young.html  and  http://www.braehead.info/html/john_aitkenhead.htm