International Centre News April 2017. By John Diamond

Dear Colleagues,

John DiamondThis newsletter reflects the further growth and influence of the International Centre as a global network sharing therapeutic practice, training and research for all those working with traumatised children and young people.

In this edition we publish papers about the needs of UK care leavers, with articles from the Care Leavers Foundation (CLF) and Every Child Leaving Care Matters (ECLCM).

Sadly, in the UK we have a poor track record of looking after some of our most vulnerable young people when aged 16 or 18 they have to make the complex transition from care settings back into mainstream society.  CLF and ECLCM are organisations who continue to lobby to raise awareness about this issue, and to meet the needs of young people leaving care. ECLCM has successfully adapted its mission to enable young people to ‘stay close’ to their residential care home until the age of 21. Young people in foster care via the ‘staying put’ initiative have the right to stay with families until they are 21.

Creating a sense of belonging and attachment to people and place is vital to establish a strong and sustainable ‘secure base’ for all of us. Belonging is the foundation for healthy emotional growth and enables us to find a meaningful place in society. In this edition, the two articles written by care leavers, remind us how too often the people and systems that should be available to help young people manage these difficult transitions, are unavailable or absent.

The need for relational attachment based care or ‘pedagogy’ is a theme throughout The Therapeutic Care Journal (TCJ) this month, (see Hermann Radler’s article). We highlight the need for ensuring young people in care through genuine stability of placement can internalise a ‘lived experience’ of relationships.

The concept of a ‘lived experience’ of therapeutic relationships within a nurturing environment also underpins the theory and practice of Social Pedagogy. The interest and growth of Social Pedagogy in the UK has led to our member Dr Claire Cameron of the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy, at the University College London, Institute of Education, to contact us about the launch of:

The Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SSPA)

You can read the press release of the launch of the SSPA in this month’s ‘scrapbook section’  of the TCJ.

And, Gabriel Eichsteller from Thempra Social Pedagogy Community interest Company, to the launch of:

The Social Pedagogy Development Network (SPDN)

We published the SPDN event earlier in March to ensure it was current; you can see it here:

Social Pedagogy Development Network (SPDN)


International Network News

From our African network:

We welcome Thadei Kamesa, who is a Social worker in Tanzania. Thadei writes:

‘I have sent you a quarterly report regarding the situational analysis with respect to child rape and abuse in Pangani District where I work.  Presented events are just part of those reported to Police and to me as a Social Worker. Despite sensitisation to the public to speak out and report, many incidences go unreported because of the coastal tradition and customs of the area. I have tried to elaborate a brief picture of what goes on’.

We are publishing this report as a reminder of the difficult work that members of our networks engage with on a daily basis. We take seriously our responsibility to share and communicate the important and complex work of child protection and safeguarding across many cultures and policy frameworks, in order to break cycles of abuse and trauma wherever they are found.

Welcome to Salami Alabi, Nigeria:

‘I hold a PhD in Learning Disabilities (LD), and I am a lecturer with the Federal College of Special Education in Oyo, Nigeria, in the department of Special Education for the learning disabled. I wish to contribute articles and research findings about LD and General Education, as well as early childhood care and intervention in Learning Disabilities.’

FICE Europe:

We continue to develop a strong working relationship with FICE the ‘International Federation for Educative Communities’ across Europe, and as mentioned in the last newsletter we are looking to re- energise the UK branch with the International Centre becoming the host organisation  for FICE UK, and received the following contact from David Astiz of FICE Spain:

‘As we agreed a month ago, we discussed at the FICE Spain Assembly the idea of being able to take part and collaborate with your initiative is well received in FICE Spain. We would like to share research and good practice with you, whether from individual organisations and entities which are FICE Spain members, or potential universities who we are in contact with. This mail is also copied to all FICE Spain members. Congratulations on such an interesting initiative’.

Greece: Our first Greek member is Kypseli Therapeutic Community in Athens.

India:  Our first Indian network members are Kiran Modi and Leena Prasad of Udayan Care, New Delhi, India:

Ireland: I was honoured to be invited by our Irish network lead Damien Mc Lellan, course leader of the M.A. in Therapeutic Child Care course at Carlow College, to formally launch the Irish International Centre network at their recent conference.

Welcome to our newest Irish members:  Una Nugent from TUSLA, Andy Power of Smiley Homes, Dublin, Maeve Healy and Niamh Barrett from the Irish Foster Care Association (IFCA), and Dr Thomas Mc Grath,Vice President and Registrar of Carlow College.

Japan: Our first members are Eriko Koga and Yuko Perolin.

And finally a welcome to our newest UK members:

After a recent meeting with Amanda Griffith, Chief Executive Officer for Family for Every Child, Amanda writes:

 ‘This is to confirm that Family for Every Child would be very interested in discussing how we could develop a strategic partnership with The International Centre for therapeutic residential and foster care. I look forward to taking our discussions forward’.

And Janett Plummer–Akinfie, who is a foster carer and trainer, Carolyn Kartal from Bryn Melyn Care, Zoe Ratcliffe who works for Five Rivers Child Care, and Karol Keenan of New College Worcester.

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