EDITORIAL 18 : More for less, or more and better ?

by the editorial group


In these stringent times, government ministers in the United Kingdom continue to boast of the wonderful public services the state provides yet what those working within these services report and what we can witness with our own eyes is that health services, (particularly for people suffering from mental health difficulties), social care, education provided by local authorities, and the prison services among others are overly stretched as their funding is cut to beyond the bone. It is hard to watch sincere, gifted workers struggle against all the odds. It is in circumstances like this that important things are lost and mistakes can be made.

In the voluntary sector too, charities carrying out all kinds of necessary preventive services find their grants have been reduced or cut altogether.

In residential child care,  a field that is one of the special interests of this journal, the demand for ever cheaper services has led to that service’s inexorable shift to the private sector where profit is king and quality of care becomes the pauper. The watchword is “more for less”  which actually means “less for less”and don’t be too concerned about the quality.

All the authors in this issue have a care for the quality. Most have been involved in one or more the services mentioned above and the others are concerned that these services are effective and staffed by sufficient, well trained workers.

 Elaine Arnold writes about the importance of considering attachment theory for those who have become separated from their families, Denise Carroll and Mark Smith tell of recent research into the co-working of mental health and residential care workers, Cynthia Cross writes about defensiveness in adults who look after children, Maurice Fenton writes about his underlying reasons for writing his latest book, Justin Frost reviews Ken Loach’s classic film Family Life, John Stein reconsiders the potential of a points system in group work with young people, Patrick Tomlinson explores the significance of Empathy in communication with troubled children, John Whitwell provides an account of the therapeutic community approach, Nigel Wilson thinks about statements of purpose in children’s homes and Charles Sharpe reviews Maurice Fenton’s book Social Care and Child Welfare in Ireland Integrating Residential Care, Leaving Care and Aftercare.

The ‘cri de coeur’ for all caring services, and particularly those for children and young people should be, “more and better” and we believe this  is the message for Issue 18 of the goodenoughcaring Journal. We hope you agree.


To comment on this article or to contact the author email goodenoughcaring@icloud.com

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