International Centre News 1st October 2020

A warm welcome to all our readers. Our mission at the International Centre for Therapeutic Care and via the TCJ is:

‘To share models of therapeutic care, and to extend the influence and insights gained from our member networks, in order to improve services  and outcomes for traumatised children their families and communities’

In this edition we share a range of action research papers written as student assignments from the Mulberry Bush Foundation Degree in ‘Therapeutic work with children and young people’ accredited by the University of the West of England.

We open the edition with the essay ‘Professional Issues in therapeutic provision for children and young people’ by Bianca- Benoit Patterson, who is a TA in a mainstream primary school. The study focuses on Bianca’s observations, interventions and interactions with  ‘Child A’ in a classroom setting, and ‘including the professional opinions of my colleagues about Child A’s needs and what might help him. These observations are defined as qualitative data – non-numerical and not easily measured’.

Elsa Bouillard, a Therapeutic Childcare Practitioner, shares her action research on ‘Using outdoor activities to support traumatised children’. The paper explores how active outdoor learning and play, allows children and young people to value direct experience and benefits their mental and social development.

In her paper ‘To what extent does a nurturing environment support the academic engagement of traumatised children’Laura Dennis, a teacher at The Mulberry Bush School, discusses setting up a classroom for the newest children, ensuring they are taught in small groups and that regular circle and snack times are built into the daily routine, to help them to learn to trust the environment of the classroom, so that learning can feel safe.

Scott Mitchell, Therapeutic Childcare Practitioner shares his own action research on ‘How can staff help reduce self harm in a residential setting’. He comments on the importance of observation ‘A key aspect of my role is to keywork a child; this entails being preoccupied with the child’s behaviour, and thinking about what it might communicate’.

Keith White offers thoughts on how curiosity and exploration in child development create ‘The roots of research’. His second piece ‘The creation of safe space through appropriate boundaries’ is an observation of the professional preoccupation of two adults to ensure a child has a positive contact visit at Mill Grove.

Nicky Hilton from the Planned Environment Therapy Archives at MB3, explores the personal collection of the social work academic Dorothy Stock Whitaker (1925-2018) revealing the research and data collection behind her influential publications and reports.

Forthcoming International Centre events for your diary:

Care of Young Offenders: Progress or Decline?

Two 3 hour, linked Zoom seminars in partnership with The Mulberry Bush Child Care History Network and the Dartington Centre for Social Policy on Friday 9th and Monday 12th October 2020.

“Lessons have been learnt” is the familiar response from government or independent agencies after findings of incompetence or bad practice. Do we need to learn lessons from the past to avoid disasters in today’s provision for young offenders or is all well in the service now on offer?  Join us for these important seminars of reflection and awareness!

Find out more and book your place here.

Trauma Informed Practice: Using Biopsychosocial Models to Promote Recovery from Trauma

The International Centre for Therapeutic Care and the Institute of Recovery from Childhood Trauma present an online conference exploring the use of biopsychosocial models to promote recovery from Trauma on November 6th 2020.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Hear about the latest neuro-developmental research
  2. Gain improved understanding of the importance of adopting a biopsychosocial model to promote trauma recovery
  3. Learn how to use a neurodevelopmental model to inform therapeutic interventions
  4. Learn about the benefits of a multi-disciplinary approach to trauma recovery.

Find out more and book your place here.

International Centre Research Group

The International Centre Research Group meets twice a year to discuss and share practice and research, as well as to hear from researchers in the field. Presenters talk about current or completed pieces of research.

The next research event on 26 November 2020 will be our first online group and we hope you will join us. The event will be chaired by Dr Caryn Onions, Head of Research and Development at the Mulberry Bush.

Event Programme:

11.00 Welcome and introductions
11.10 11.10 A reflective group and chance to share thoughts and feelings about the state of the sector, and related research issues.
11.50 Break
12.00 Presentation 1 and short group discussion. Title: ‘That Sort of Girl…’ Approved Schools for Girls in England and Wales, 1933-1973. Speaker: Jessamy Carlson
12.45 Presentation 2 and short group discussion. Title: Researching the Emotion(al) Work in Residential Children’s Homes: How Residential Support Workers Use, Manage and Control Their Emotions.
Speaker: Bethany Jay
1.30 Break
1.45 Plenary
2.30 Ending

Find out more and book your place here.

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