International Centre News December 1st 2017

A warm welcome to our newest members:

Sarah Walton – Calcot Children’s Services. UK
Catherine Milgiewicz – Calcot Children’s Services, UK.
Lamin Jallow – Calcot Children’s Services, UK.
Bodil Damsgaard – International Association of Social Educators (
Manab Bose – Sukrut Psychotherapy Centre, Parikma Foundation, IIMU, Mumbai, India
Natasha Penney – Beechfied Secure Children’s Home, UK
Savy Sondhi – Entrepeneur,, UK.
Mike Stein – Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of York.
Jill Comfort – Consultant Psychoanalytic Social Worker, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.
Peter Fleming – Banya Family Placement/ Pellin Institute.
Angela Harris – St Christophers, UK.
Andrew Smith – Psychotherapist and Social Worker, UK.

Dear Colleagues,

At our recent research group event on November 21st, Dr Jane Herd spoke about her Doctoral research on working with hard-to-reach adolescents, and Jill Comfort, consultant psychoanalytic social worker,  spoke about her research into a therapeutic model for project work with sibling groups. The aim of the group is to share and make research ideas accessible to child care practitioners. The wealth of interactions in the day to day ‘ lived experience’ of residential and foster care, make it an excellent place to develop a culture of ‘practitioner led research’. Our colleagues at ‘Research In Practice’ are helpful people to contact if you are daunted at the prospect of how to start a research project in your workplace. We also have a research forum on the Therapeutic Care Journal, which we hope you will use to encourage discussion, ask questions and share ideas between organisations.

It has been difficult finding a time for the 2017 Advisory Group, a suggested date in July just didn’t work, so I am proposing Friday December 8th from 11 – 2 pm at our Linden House annexe. Please contact me if you can attend.

This current edition of the TCJ has a broad range of content from all over the world. Many of the articles remind us that historically it has often been the result of turbulent times and social inequality that has created the need for the development of residential care to meet the needs of emotionally troubled and traumatised children. This is picked up in David Lane’s book review of Peter Higginbotham’s ‘Children’s Homes: A history of institutional care for Britain’s young’.

Following on from this theme we publish another two articles from Smyly homes in Dublin, the first another deeply reflective piece; ‘The meaning of home’ by Christine Sieber, and the second Remembering Mrs Smyly by Tony Moore, takes us back to the roots of their work in nineteenth century Dublin.

Lisa Cherry reminds us that for every generation of children and young people in care, there is a group of care experienced adults who have to navigate their way and place back in society. For many this transition is very difficult and they  remain marginalised and at risk. Lisa’s goal is to establish a new charity ‘No More Labels’, and her article communicates her aims, and looks to find support for this important work. Please tell people about it.

Diana Russell-Carey tells the story of the Gloucestershire Counselling Service, of which she is the only surviving original member. This mental health  service was set up to offer psychodynamic therapy across the county.  In the foreword GCS Trustee John Whitwell reminds us that the story and struggle to establish the service is as inspiring as those of the early pioneering therapeutic communities.

From our African network Chaste Uwihoreye in Rwanda, offers us two articles: ‘The rehabilitation of street children in Rwanda’ and ‘Supporting children who have been involved in military action’ and Thadei Kamesi in Tanzania shares with us the dilemmas of a recent case in his short piece on ‘A miscarriage of justice’. These articles reflect the awe inspiring work and the scale of the complexity that our African colleagues are engaged with in order to create safe therapeutic groups, institutions and policies to meet the needs of children and young people who find themselves displaced and dislocated as a result of genocide, war and abuses of power.

Finally, we publish an article on a new innovative therapeutic foster care service developed by Essex County Council, and Dr Keith White offers his regular two closely observed articles from the work and daily life of Mill Grove, firstly How do we know we are human beings? and The Place of Ritual in Therapeutic Child Care.

Please keep sending your articles for publication, and promoting our work of sharing and disseminating information about therapeutic practice, training and research.

Wishing all our members, supporters and readers a peaceful and restful Christmas and New Year.

John Diamond

John Diamond

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