International Centre News – 1st October 2022

Welcome to the October edition of the TCJ. This is my last editorial as I am leaving The Mulberry Bush Organisation, but Debs Doggett, the Senior Archivist at MB3 will be continuing with editing and publishing the TCJ, the next edition will be with you on the 1st of December, ready for Christmas!  

Our first two papers are from Keith White, sharing his thoughts and experiences from Mill Grove, His first paper, entitled ‘Oak Trees and Instagrams‘ looks at how in an age of Instagram there needs to be careful attention to what is happening over a person’s lifetime and longer.  In his next paper, ‘Attempting to Enter the Life of Another‘, Keith contemplates the difficulty to enter the world of another person and how that may be a useful starting point for all who have the privilege of being, living or working alongside children and young people.  

We continue with the series of papers, ‘Residential Care and Education for Children and Young People under the age of 18’ from Norman Cooke and Ewan Anderson. This fifth paper is entitled ‘Addressing Child on Child Abuse in a Residential Setting‘ and discusses how the model previously discussed indicates the significant diversity of provision for those being educated away from their home. It goes on to discuss the scale of abuse taking place, what is needed to explore the different settings within residential establishments of such abuse and how to generate discussion around lessons learned from the past and how to enable the prevention of such abuse going forward. 

This edition falls within the Black History Month in the UK and to acknowledge and celebrate this we have included two papers from the archives, one is a previous, but still relevant, paper that was first published in 2010, written by Jane Lane, titled ‘Institutional Discrimination in the Early Years‘. The theme within this paper highlights and reflect on what changes still need to be made to provide equal opportunities for Black children in care.   

The next paper from the Archives is by Debs Doggett and is titled ‘What have YOU done?‘ which discusses the importance of archives and how the collections can promote discussion, reflection and a learning opportunity and why revisiting the past, allows us to see the present more clearly.   

The Planned Environment Therapy Archives and Special Collections are recognising Black History Month through a series of social media posts on Twitter and Facebook feeds. They are also looking at how they can work across The Mulberry Bush to support inclusion work with both staff and children throughout the year.  

Our last paper, is a chapter from Jane Keenan’s book: Kids in Care…How can I Help? ‘A Facilitating Environment, and What’s ‘Therapeutic’?‘ discusses real case scenarios with children to talk about how to provide an environment for a child to be and how staff often just don’t know, cannot know, how to support a child, but by paying attention; observing, and understanding that there is meaning of some sort for the child, they can strive to adapt a response that helps the child feel ok and move on. 

Jane has been a therapeutic residential worker, foster parent, director, manager, teacher of colleagues and in her own words  ‘…I have the greatest regard and affection for our children and young people in care…no one has taught me more, and I am grateful.’ 

Finally, there is an open invitation from The TC Elders, who are a group of experienced individuals from a variety of professional backgrounds, who have all worked in Therapeutic Communities (TC) who want to provide an online community meeting space for those affected, in whatever way, by the situation in Ukraine, and who want to think and perhaps talk about it.  

We hope that the papers in this edition provide you with food for thought. We are currently planning editions for the TCJ for 2023, please send in your papers, poems, drawings, research or pause for thought into us via our email address [email protected].

Marya Hemmings and Debs Doggett

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