Editorial 15 : An international and national event


 One of the main themes of the 15th issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal is childhood in Scotland. We thought this was a good idea because people from all over the world are interested in what is happening in Scotland this year. In July in Glasgow, Scotland hosts the Commonwealth Games, an international event. A few weeks later in September Scots from the age of 16 years upwards will vote to decide whether or not they wish to be citizens of an independent country, a very national event.

Many of the volunteers at the Commonwealth Games and a significant section of the electorate in the Scottish independence referendum will be people we often term “schoolchildren” in the sense that though they may be in their middle to late teens we older ones don’t really think they are ready for the big world that is our realm. With this in mind we decided that a principal theme of this issue would be childhood in Scotland, past, present and future.

We tend to believe that children and young people are happier when they feel a sense of belonging – in a family, among friends, in a community, to a place – and being imbued with their customs and cultures.  This can  give a healthy sense of identity. Often all these things are bound up together into a nation, a country. It is good to be brought up to be proud of one’s country if  we are learning to look after every member of our own community with equal intensity of love and concern  while, at the same time , holding out our arms to welcome and value the people, culture and beliefs of other nations. This is good nationalism and it is the spirit of internationalism. It is a pity that so often children and young people hear a mantra from  those in power in the United Kingdom (and sometimes from their  parents)  that is unduly dismissive and critical of  the culture, beliefs and intentions of people from other countries. This is a phenomena sometimes called “Little Englandism”. Whatever the result of the Scottish referendum it is surely reasonable to hope that children and young people in the British Isles will learn –  from their own discoveries and from their elders  – to look after themselves well and to respect and to care kindly for others.

This  Journal’s other principal theme is about looking after childen for whom things have not gone as well as they should. These are children and young people in residential care. We are pleased to present articles from authors who hail from all over the world. As you will read many of the articles deal with both themes.

We hope you will find something here to interest you wherever you are and that you will agree this issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal is both an international and national event.

In this issue :

Kevin Ball writes a sequel to his article about the Regulation 33 visitor to children’s homes in England,

John Burnside writes about his childhood in Fife

Cynthia Cross explores the enigma of staff relationships in residential child care,

David Divine recalls a childhood in a Scottish orphanage,

Ni Holmes writes about the values and practice of behaviour management in residential child care,

Noel Howard considers Ireland’s new child and family agency,

Alan Macquarrie provides us with the legend of St. Kentigerna,

Jeremy Millar stimulates the debate about the future for Scotland and Scotland’s children,

Charles Sharpe remembers his childhood in Dundee,

Mark Smith  “throws off the cringe”,

Laura Steckley an American in Scotland tells of her experience of the Scottish approach to residential child care ,

John Stein from Louisana considers the influence of parents upon residential treatment,

Calum Strathie remembers his own early days and compares them with what youngsters in Scotland experience now,

Adrian Ward writes about life and the history of his new book on Leadership,

Charles Sharpe reviews Adrian’s Ward’s Leadership in Residential Child Care a relationship-based approach,

A young A.S. Neill reluctantly, painfully and movingly leaves the children he has been teaching,

Robert Louis Stevenson thinks about the nature and purpose of child’s play.



John Burton writes

The goodenoughcaring Journal is always a superb miscellany of writing on child care – nothing else approaches it.

Elaine Arnold remarks

I shall certainly pass the Journal on; it’s always such good value. I look forward to this Scottish issue. In the Scottish play Lady Macbeth sees herself as a ruthless mother!!!  I wonder if some mothers who abuse (and are not on drugs or alcohol are of the lady’s disposition ? Far fetched I hear you say?

Keith White offers

Congratulations on another formidable issue: I really don’t know how you do it!

Jonathan Stanley writes 

Another excellent issue offering people opportunity, inspiration, courage, stamina to carry on caring.

The Journal is a beacon of hope and a place of sustenance. I note  there are fewer English writers  – partly because over the years we have written little and partly people are just too busy surviving the continuous debilitating impingement.




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