International Centre News 1st October 2021

A warm welcome to our October edition of the Therapeutic Care Journal, and the International Centre news.

This month we bring you a selection of papers from the Mulberry Bush Level 5 Foundation Degree in ‘Therapeutic Work with Children and Young People’ accredited by the University of the West of England. All the papers published here are taken from the module ‘Professional Issues in Therapeutic Provision for Children and Young People’.

The first paper is by Mark Brady who is a service manager at Amicus Foster Care. In his paper ‘Can Youth Work Underpinned by Therapeutic, Mental Health and Wellbeing Principles Promote Confidence and Resilience?’ Mark writes “In October 2020 I set up several youth groups and activities to work with a small group of children, this was in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus was to maintain, and in some cases, create relationships with young people whom like all of us were experiencing huge changes to their lives and the way they lived them. My aim within this assignment is to use the model of action research to explore the role of therapeutic youth work”.

This is followed by an assignment by Sophie Warrell who works as the Family Link Worker at The Mulberry Bush School. Her paper ‘What is the Impact of Attending Mulberry Bush School Groups on Adoptive Parents, Special Guardians and Fosters Carers?’ is action research, exploring how ‘the support groups for Adoptive Parents, Special Guardians and Foster Carers at The Mulberry Bush School are facilitated in a way whereby participants can choose whether or not to contribute and are able to raise what they feel is important for them, within the group’.

The final assignment from this module is by Geraint Matthews who works as a Therapeutic Care Practitioner at the school. His paper ‘White People Talking About Race in a Therapeutic Setting’ is a reflective exploration of the complex dynamics that we face as we continuously aim to grow an informed and equitable culture, which takes into account issues of privilege and prejudice which lie at the heart of our therapeutic work with children and families.

Finally, Keith White offers three more of his regular reflective papers brought from the lived experience of his work at Mill Grove, a therapeutic community in South London. His paper ‘The Gardener and the Boy’ is based on observations of a child during their annual holiday in North Wales. In ‘The Fathers Day it all Came Together’ Keith shares his insights into how annual events such as Fathers/Mothers day can remain troubling or positive experiences depending on the quality of ‘emotional holding’ in the residential environment, and his third paper ‘Lies and Life Stories’ is a fascinating exploration of the role of lying for children, maybe as a form of defence to avoid often painful feelings emanating from their own life narratives and stories.

I imagine that many of the themes in this volume will resonate with readers’ experiences of working closely with children and young people in a variety of settings.

Stay safe and well,

Warm wishes,

John Diamond

International Centre News and Upcoming Events:

  • How do the International Centre and the Therapeutic Care Journal Promote the Spirit of an International Community?

Monday 1 November 2021, 2pm – 3.30pm
Online via Zoom

An online event where you’ll be able to learn about the work of the International Centre, the Planned Environment Therapy Archives, the International Centre Research Group and the Therapeutic Care Journal.

Find out more and book your place here.

  • The International Centre World Cafe Event

Wednesday 3 November 2021, 1pm – 5.30pm

Online via Zoom

The International Centre is a free alliance of like-minded organisations and individuals who either practice or wish to learn about the role of therapeutic care – especially residential, foster care and adoption – for children, young people, their families and communities.

This event will bring together networks from across the globe to share our members’ experiences and will feature speakers from India, The USA and Brazil.

Find out more and book your place here.

  • Looking at Nurture in Educational Environments

Tuesday 9 November 2021,11.00m – 3.00pm
Online via Zoom

An online event where you’ll be able to learn about the work of the International Centre, the Planned Environment Therapy Archives, the International Centre Research Group and the Therapeutic Care Journal.

Find out more and book your place here.

  • Trauma Informed Practice – Environments to Promote Recovery

Friday 12 November 2021, 10am – 4 pm
Oxford Quaker Meeting House.

A conference presented by the International Centre for Therapeutic Care (ICTC) and the Institute for Recovery of Childhood Trauma (IRCT).
Learning Objectives:

  • Debate what ‘recovery’ means
  • Explore the idea that there should be a ‘right to recovery’ enshrined in UK legislation through the UK signing up to the UN Human Rights Bill
  • Discover what the active ingredients for recovery are
  • Find out how to put theoretical ideas into practice in different work contexts: foster care;school; residential care; secure accommodation
  • Learn how to create psychological safety in schools that can benefit all children
  • Discover resources you can use in your practice

Find out more and book your place here.

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