International Centre News – 1st December 2022

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  

Joyeux Noel! Feliz Navidad! 聖誕快樂 


As a journal with an international reach, we’d like to acknowledge the different festivities that take place around this time of year for all faiths and nationalities. Whether you’re celebrating Bodhi Day, Kwanzaa, Hogmany or Hanukkah and many, many more, we wish you a healthy and happy 2023.  

2022 has seen many changes across the globe as we begin to process a pandemic which both brought us together and divided us. This journal has seen a few changes too with the retirement of former editor John Diamond, and the joining of forces with the Childcare History Network. As some of you may already know, former editor Marya Hemmings left the role in October this year.  

This end-of-year edition is guest-edited by Dr Caryn Onions, Head of Mulberry Bush Research and Development. Caryn is part of the team that marks the research produced by students (who are often also staff) at the Mulberry Bush. Caryn says:  

 ‘Students undertaking the two-year Mulberry Bush Foundation degree in Therapeutic Childcare, have a final assignment which is nowadays a piece of action research. We are pleased to include an action research report by Ariel Lambert in this edition from the cohort of students who graduated in 2022. An important element of research is the dissemination and this edition is starting that process. Dissemination hopefully leads to changes in practice and that is how we keep improving therapeutic childcare and make sure it is evidence informed.’ 

Ariel’s research demonstrates that some children engaged significantly more with remote learning during the height of the pandemic than engaged with classroom-based learning before and after lockdown. Ariel questions whether this model of collaborative teaching in a home environment alongside families, and the safety of being behind a screen may have increased engagement in learning for children who have experienced trauma. Ariel evidences this with both qualitative and quantitative research gathered whilst teaching during lockdown. Published here in full, we hope you will enjoy reading How did remote learning affect the engagement in Curriculum subjects of 7 children at the Mulberry Bush school?, by Ariel Lambert, Fda Graduate 2022. 

As the TCJ Writer In Residence, Dr Keith White of Mill Grove asks us to question what we think of as Transferable Skills for young people in care and how this shapes their self-image and future prospects. Keith’s second contribution to this edition, Belongings and Belonging, questions the role of transitional objects in residential care and why some people choose to leave objects and mementos behind what that might mean for them and those who have looked after them. We’d love to hear what your thoughts are on this and welcome contributions from the care-experienced community.  

In his article on The Birth Information Tracing Act and Ireland’s Quiet Revolution, Gareth Beynon, Archivist at The Mulberry Bush, writes about freedom of access to adoption records in Ireland following the new Act (2022). Gareth looks at the impact of widening access from an archival point of view, and also the potential healing benefits it could bring to adoptees and their birth relatives, especially those have experienced stigma because of attitudes towards mother and baby homes in the past.  

This month’s ‘Throwback’ article from the TCJ Archive is Sometimes It’s All Worthwhile by Jo Tomlinson. Originally published in 2012, Jo writes about her granddaughter’s creativity and imagination, and reminds us of the joy that children can bring to those around them. 

On behalf of the TCJ Editorial Board may we wish you all the best for the festive season and 2023, 

Debra and Caryn 


Debra Doggett, Senior Archivist at The Mulberry Bush 

Dr Caryn Onions, Head of Research and Development at The Mulberry Bush 

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