International Centre News 1st April 2021

This special edition of the TCJ offers an extended variety of papers on ‘perspectives on residential care’ and part one of a major longitudinal research project. It is also a celebration of the importance of reflective writing and research, to meet the needs of children and young people, their families and communities.

Unfortunately last spring, due to the impact of Covid 19, we were distracted from celebrating the 5th birthday of The Therapeutic Care Journal. We took ownership of what was originally called ‘The Children Webmag’ in 2015, which was edited by David Lane, and rebranded it as the TCJ. In this our 6th year we are flagging up our first TCJ ‘Global world cafe’ event on May 7th, with 5 excellent speakers from around the globe, exploring their experiences of working through Covid-19 (BOOK HERE).  We are also sharing a questionnaire with all our members, readers and supporters that will help us extend our aim to share insights into therapeutic care practice across the world.

Perspectives on Residential Care

We celebrate our 6th year with an array of fantastic articles on the importance of the role of residential care in working with our society’s most traumatised and emotionally troubled children and young people. The first in this edition is ‘Residential care and education for children and young people under the age of 18’ by distinguished academics Professor Ewan Anderson, and Norman Cooke OBE. The paper provides a comprehensive overview of residential services, in which the range of services are categorised, and the authors offer a visual model that clarifies the overlap of social, health and custodial roles, alongside the educational provision in the primary tasks of these services.

Beth Jay is a graduate research assistant at MMU, and she offers a thoughtful piece of reflective writing. Her paper ‘Making ratios not relationships’ explores the intricate and emotional dilemmas of ‘close in’ communication in relational work, from her experience as an agency worker in support of young people in residential care services.

We then move to a celebration of the life and work of Charles Sharpe, a child psychotherapist who sadly passed away last Autumn. Charles was a long time supporter of the importance of therapeutic residential care. Craig Fees writes a brief ‘biography of his life and work’, and we then  move to two papers written by Charles; ‘Residential Child Care – the undervalued, unacknowledged and untrained profession’, followed by by his excellent ‘Observations on the life and work of Isabel Menzies Lyth’, here we link back to the legacy of both Charles and Menzies Lyth, and an exploration of psychodynamic consultation work of the Tavistock Institute on the development of therapeutic child care.

We publish three papers by Keith White who writes from his experience at Mill Grove. The first is ‘Resilience tested by lockdowns’ in which he reflects on the use of ‘Zoom’ and the changing dynamics and adaptations to communication on the daily life of Mill Grove during lockdown. The second ‘A little child will lead them’ uses the title of a painting to make connections between the need for long term thinking and planning in relation to residential relationships, climate change and the natural world. We also share his paper ‘The long term effects of separation and loss on sibling relationships.

Debs Doggett, archivist at the MB3 PET archive, writes a piece based on the Wennington School oral histories held at the archive, with a focus on perspectives on the work of Headteacher Kenneth Barnes from both pupils and staff: ‘Wennington School from the perspectives of those who lived, learned and experienced it.’

Finally, John Pressley responds to the Care of Young Offenders report which featured in February’s edition with some personal thoughts on the role of CHE‘s.

TCJ Research

From today we are publishing the first part of a major work – the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project, by the Chab Dai coalition, which will be serialised across the next four editions of the TCJ. This research offers a model of reintegration and considerations for alternative care for children trafficked for sexual exploitation in Cambodia. We start this serialisation with ‘An Introduction to the Butterfly Longitudinal Research Project – a collaborative NGO Project’.

Questionnaire to gather your thoughts on the TCJ and the ICTC

The Therapeutic Care Journal (TCJ) has just celebrated its 6th year of publication as part of The Mulberry Bush International Centre for Therapeutic Care (ICTC), and so we thought that this was a perfect opportunity to ask you for your thoughts and opinions about the journal and how you would like to see it, and the International Centre, develop over the next five years.

You can complete the questionnaire here.

Upcoming Events

The International Centre COVID19 World Cafe Event

Friday 7 May 2021
Online via Zoom

This event will bring together networks from across the globe to share our members’ experiences of working through COVID-19. We’re looking forward to welcoming speakers from India, Brazil, the US and Tanzania. Our learning objectives for the event are to create mutual support and network forums for our members, increase our sense of the IC as an international community and to establish ongoing support networks for our members.

Find out more and book your ticket here.

Researching Trauma in Child Residential Care

Tuesday 27 April
Online via Zoom

A gathering of The International Centre Research Group chaired by Dr Caryn Onions. We will be welcoming Sarah Graham and Daniel Johnson  who will be presenting ‘Trauma Therapy: Exploring the Views of Young People in Care’. We’ll also be joined by Ruth Gottfried who will share her presentation ‘Assessment of Professional Quality of Life and Secondary Traumatic Stress-Informed Organizational Care in Residential Child and Youth Care Centers, in Light of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-National Study’.

Find out more and book your ticket here.

COVID-19 Collective Trauma – Talking Strategies
An Online Seminar from The Mulberry  Bush and Orb8

Friday 21 May
Online via Zoom

Join us for the next in our series of online seminars where we’ll be joined by Jane Herd of Orb 8 who will explore ‘Collective Trauma- Foster Care- What has Covid taught us’, Stuart Harragan, from the Mulberry Bush Therapies and Network Team will present on ‘Working with Families in a Global Pandemic and Beyond’ and Rob Stuart, Director of OPUS Listening Posts will join us to talk about his wok.

Find out more and book your place here.

Save the date for the next two events in this series

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