International Centre News December 2016. By John Diamond

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A warm welcome to all our new members who represent our International networks in Africa, Italy, USA, Australia, and from across the UK.

  • Chaste Uwihoreye, Family for Every Child, Rwanda
  • Pomaa Arthur, Challenging Heights, Ghana
  • Bilal Sougou, Global Protection Cluster, Nigeria
  • Ansie Fouche, Optentia Research Programme, South Africa
  • Luca Mingarelli and Pablo Zuglian, Rosa Dei Venti, Italy
  • Monica Cavicchioli, Rosa Dei Venti, Italy
  • Amelia Franck Meyer, Reimagining Child Welfare – Alia, USA
  • Chris Bray, Ambit, USA
  • Mechele Pitt, Anu Family Services, USA
  • Melissa Devlin, Family Focused Treatment Association, USA
  • Simon Benjamin, Lighthouse foundation, Australia
  • Kasy Chambers and Zoe Coombe, Anglicare, Australia
  • Robert Tapsfield, Independent Consultant, UK
  • Jayne Westcott, Independent Consultant, UK
  • Patrick Tomlinson, Independent Consultant, UK & USA
  • Jane Wroe, Lewisham Council, UK
  • Amanda Knowles, Oracle Care, UK
  • Dr Sharon Pettle, University of Southampton, UK
  • Debbie Roddis,
  • Anna Powell, Phoenix learning and care
  • Chris Coleman, Mayfield Children’s home
  • Jeanette McDonald, Social Worker

Our African network is led by Chaste Uwihoreye, Rwanda:

EducationChaste is a child and youth psychologist with a Masters in Clinical Psychology and twelve years experience working directly and indirectly with child victims of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, and the HIV/AIDs epidemic. He has worked extensively with traumatised post-conflict communities in the great lake region, including creating trauma healing programmes with psychosocial support and livelihood development for orphans and young people. He has spearheaded projects for female victims of violence during conflict, victims of torture and serial rape, child-soldiers and young orphaned heads of households. He is also a talented youth mobiliser; having established community centres for children and young people in Rwanda. These provide social-emotional, psychological, and economic support for children and promote youth solidarity. Chaste is passionate about empowering young people to effect personal change, particularly through training, behavioural change and education.

Pomaa Arthur – Recovery Manager of Challenging Heights, Ghana:

Challenging Heights is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation in Ghana that works to protect children’s rights and end child trafficking. It was founded by James Kofi Annan in 2007. We work in coastal communities in Ghana, providing support to women and children in hard-to-reach areas that are at risk of child trafficking. Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. It is estimated that over 1.8 million young people are engaged in child labour in Ghana. It is also estimated that over 1 million of Ghana’s 6.3 million children below the age of 15 are excluded from school. We have identified poverty, lack of education, and poor law enforcement as key reasons for child trafficking and forced labour in Ghana.

Bilal Sougou – Lead for the UNICEF Global Protection Cluster, Nigeria:

ChildrenThe protection of children during emergencies is an area of responsibility for the Global Protection Cluster which is facilitated through the Child Protection Working Group (CPWG). As the designated focal point agency for child protection, UNICEF coordinates the CPWG and is also the ‘last resort’ provider.

‘Child Protection in Emergencies’ refers to the prevention of and response to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence against children in emergencies. An emergency is defined as ‘a situation where lives, physical and mental wellbeing, or development opportunities for children are threatened as a result of armed conflict, disaster or the breakdown of social or legal order, and where local capacity to cope is exceeded or inadequate’.

Prof. Ansie Fouché is Associate Professor of Social Work at the School of Behavioural Sciences, Vaal Triangle Campus, Gauteng, South Africa.


Our Network in the USA:

Amelia Franck Meyer, MSW, LISW

Amelia Franck Meyer is the founder and CEO of Alia: innovations for people and systems impacted by childhood trauma. Alia provides deep-dive systemic interventions, training, consultation, demonstration projects, and leadership coaching to transform child welfare. Amelia has worked in over half of the states and many countries internationally to promote innovative ideas and to radically re-think child welfare. She is leading a national movement to create a child welfare system across the country where all people – youth and their caregivers – can thrive.

At Alia, Amelia also works to convene change makers and advance the tools and knowledge base in the field of child welfare. This is why, when no other tools existed, she led the initiative to bring together academic, research and professional partners at the University of Minnesota’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare to develop the Youth Connections Scale (YCS) and the Wellbeing Indicator Tool for Youth (WIT-Y), both nationally recognized, evidence-informed and widely applied tools. Amelia has spent her 27-year career dedicated to serving children and families in the areas of out-of-home care, family-based services and disability services. Amelia is sought out nationally and internationally for her innovations, speaking and strategic consulting in child welfare.


Our Italian network:

Luca Mingarelli and Pablo Zuglian our Italian network leads

Luca Mingarelli

Founder and Chairman of the Foundation Rosa dei Venti ( which runs two Therapeutic Communities for adolescents in Italy. Luca is also a social entrepreneur, psychotherapist and organizational consultant. Through his role as Chairman of the Il Nodo Group Luca has been involved in developing and co-directing a range of innovative Group Relations events such as “Energy co-creation and wellbeing in organizations” and “Learning from Action”. Luca is also a basketball coach and a member of the Order of Journalists.

Pablo Zuglian

Is a Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and Neuroscientist. He is Clinical Director of a Therapeutic Community for Adolescents (Rosa dei Venti) and Clinical Director of a psychiatric, psychotherapeutic and neuroscientific clinical centre in Milan (“Argo”). Pablo is currently an ‘in-training’ member of the Italian Society of Psychoanalysis. ‘My scientific work is directed to the study of therapeutic factors in psychotherapy and especially in the therapeutic community’.


Our Australian network:

Is led by Simon Benjamin, CEO of the Lighthouse Foundation

Simon has worked in the out-of-home residential care, mental health and disability sectors for over 14 years. He has a great deal of experience working with children, young people and their families from backgrounds of complex trauma and has worked in a number of therapeutic settings in the UK and Australia.

Kasy Chambers (Executive Director) and Zoe Coombes of Anglicare Australia

‘Anglicare Australia seeks to engage with all Australians to build communities of resilience, hope and justice. We see the inherent value of each individual and seek to create a society where everyone’s capacity to participate is welcomed and respected. In building such communities, we work to change the conditions leading to deprivation and disadvantage’. See the Anglicare report in the current edition of the TCJ.



International Centre with Research in Practice event.

Finally, on November 18th we ran a very successful one day seminar on ‘Developing research for the children’s residential sector’ in collaboration with Dez Holmes and Vicki Giles of Research In Practice.

The day consisted of a mixture of presentations by Dez and Caryn Onions on the experience of developing research, and using young people’s voices as a source of evidence. Reflective groups allowed for attendees to discuss and share how they might develop a research culture in their workplaces.

The event will be repeated in January, and we hope to extend a range of research events to our members over the coming year.

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