Learning from Europe

Are you interested in learning about social pedagogy? Or about the way the Danes or Dutch do their child care? Or about the quality of services in Eastern Europe?At the conference held by the NCB on 18 January 2008, there was a mixture of speakers from other European countries and British academics who had undertaken comparative analyses of services for children and young people across Europe. The picture emerging was pretty dire for this country, with Britain failing on almost every score.

We clearly have a lot to learn, not that we should necessarily adopt ideas which have been successful elsewhere, since concepts need to be adapted to suit different cultures. The shortcomings of our services do at least need to be subject to close scrutiny, though, and seeing how others succeed does provide pointers to the questions we should be asking, even if we do not apply the same answers.

Several of the speakers at the NCB day conference were members of FICE – the Federation Internationale des Communautes Educatives, which is probably the biggest international professional association for people who work with children and young people, with National Sections in about thirty countries.

To England’s shame, there is no FICE National Section in the country. (There are also only a couple of members of AIEJI, the other large international professional association, in England.) About thirty to forty people are known to be interested in setting up FICE-England again, and it is intended to establish a Steering Group, with a view to getting going again in the near future.

This will give a chance not only to learn from Europe, but also to make contact in other parts of the world where FICE has National Sections, such as USA, South Africa and Israel. Anyone interested in learning more about membership should email below.

And if you have a gap in your diary from 9 – 13 June 2008, why not take a trip to Helsinki to join the FICE Congress?

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