The Webmag has been going for over seven years now, and we must have published 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.
This issue majored on Every Child Matters. There was not only a summary of the Green Paper, but a report on a major conference at which the Minister had laid out the Government’s hopes and intentions, and an Editorial. In the Editorial we were a bit sceptical about the Government’s optimism, as every development of this sort over the years has been seen as a panacea. We have to acknowledge, though, that ECM is now part of the scenery, well embedded in Government policy and in professional thinking.
To date, it has proved a useful framework. To judge its long term impact we will obviously have to wait, but it looks as if it may well turn out to be one of those landmark developments which will figure in the history books. Going back to the October 2003 issue, you will see what has been achieved already.
This issue continued with the Green Paper debate about Every Child Matters, so if you want to get the full picture about thinking at that time, read this issue as well.
There was also a flurry of articles about the Stockholm Declaration. This had been agreed at an international conference of child care experts, and much of the statement was sound positive thinking. What attracted the flak was that it expressed for the first time at international level the views of those who feel that residential child care is a bad thing per se and should be avoided at all costs. Keith White reacted strongly against this view, and it remains a source of contention.
This issue carried on with the Every Child Matters theme, but introduced a wide variety of other subjects. There was AIEJI’s Barcelona Declaration about staff training. There was Keith White on child theology and Christmas, including Scrooge and Clarabelle. There was a piece about mentoring by Bob Cox-Wrightson. There was Kathleen Lane about hawking and flobbing. And a lot more – about twenty articles, book reviews and conference reports in all.
The one which caught our eye, though, was that Gus Greene was drawing his series to a close about Bluebrick children’s home, and in An Outbreak of Anger the news was now out that the home was to close. This series contained a lot of excellent scenarios which could be used in staff training, and the events recounted have a ring of truth about them.