Lessons from History

Seven years ago, following the death of Barbara Kahan, I was approached to complete some reports which she had commenced as an expert witness on residential child care. They related to instances of groups of people who, as children in care, had been sexually and/or physically abused by the staff of children’s homes or foster … Read more

Adrenaline Alley

The cultures of so many of our organisations are dominated by a climate of targets and performance management. League tables appear like rashes to try and provide us as consumers with a picture of the success of a school, hospital or police force. In child protection social work this performance management culture pervades all aspects … Read more

Social Tourism

Abstract: Social tourism, or the sponsored provision of holidays for excluded groups, is used in several countries of Western Europe as a way to achieve greater social inclusion. This feature discusses the potential value of social tourism for children and young people who are affected by social exclusion. It reviews the potential benefits of social … Read more

ASBOs and Animalisation

Recently, I was travelling my usual route to work passing through a small village in Northamptonshire. Just before leaving the village I saw a father and son standing on the pavement, with the father with his arm around his son’s shoulders. I was initially struck by the unusualness of the situation and also thought how … Read more

Making Choices : Lucy

It is somewhat scary, not to say deeply worrying, that there are no tests for natural parent-hood and certainly scant preparation. If you want to foster or adopt there are hoops a-plenty to jump through. References, interviews, assessments and training are considered essential. But literally anyone can fall into parenthood. Indeed all the women I … Read more

Making Choices : Karen

When we married, we lived in Lincolnshire. I was a midwife and health visitor and my husband was a self-employed carpenter. William was born and I looked after him for the first three months. At the time I had him, my employers gave women a compulsory return-to-work contract for at least six months if they … Read more

Making Choices : Sandy

When my oldest child, a boy was born, my partner was working as a driver and I was a health visitor. After the statutory maternity leave, we needed the money, so I returned to work on a part-time basis and I had to find someone to look after my son on the three days I … Read more

Making Choices : Sarah

When my daughter was born, I knew how I wanted her to be looked after. I also knew that I wanted to return to work. I considered without a doubt that I would be a much better parent if I still kept part of me for me. That part was my career. I had never … Read more

Making Choices : Pamela

Mother and toddler groups, play groups or Tumble Tots – what’s best for children? One mother’s view. This is the first of a new column in which Valerie Jackson has invited a number of parents whose children are now well beyond nursery age to reflect on their choices for or against nursery care for their … Read more