Remember – July 2007

The Webmag has been going for seven and a half years now, and we must have published well over a thousand articles. Who refers to the musty piles of back numbers of hard copy magazines?

The Webmag articles are all there at the touch of the Back Issues button. Modern technology makes them available. But unless you are using a search engine, you might not think of rooting through our past issues, and if you are a new reader, you certainly won’t remember the pieces when they came out.

There are some really good articles published years ago but still worth looking at, and this column pinpoints a few of them.

April 2004

This month had a range of very different articles, some with an international flavour. Keith White was writing about the international network of former Mill Grove residents. Vibeke Lasson was speaking about being a grandmother to foster children in Denmark.

The one we have selected to remember, though, was a piece by Theo Norry called Responsibilities, about the need for children to learn to take on responsibilities as well as to enjoy their rights – commensurate with their age. One of the sad things about a percentage of our children is that, often brought up in poverty, they find schooling an unhappy and unconstructive experience, and go on to unemployment or poorly paid jobs in their adult life, neither taking on responsibility nor truly enjoying their rights.

May 2004

This was an issue for anecdotes. Natalie Dickinson described her gap year in Ecuador. Gus Greene was reminiscing about what working in a children’s home was like several decades ago. Kathleen Lane was writing about the stress caused by children on holiday, larded with examples of awful behaviour. Charles Pragnell quoted a Polish residential child care worker who, when asked what was most stressful about her job looking after 200 children, said it was when the other worker rang in to say she was ill.

Ignoring the piece on the compensation culture, the Editorial about the shrinking world and the In Residence column on the family of Mill Grove, we are focusing on Professor Ewan Anderson’s article, in which he argued that the Government was blinkered and only thought in terms of children’s home, while there is actually a huge spectrum of residential care – nineteen types that Ewan had identified at that point.

June 2004

Another month with quite a variety, but we have decided to pick a piece we wrote on The Dangers of Over-regulation. People are now beginning to take note of the problem, reducing the number of key performance indicators for local government, for example. Excessive regulation has happened by stealth, and its cost has not been quantified. The message is still important.

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