International Centre News February 2020

Our mission is to share models for therapeutic care and to extend the influence and insights gained from our member networks, in order to improve services and outcomes for traumatised children, young people their families and communities.

A warm welcome to our new members:
Hayley Buncle
Jane Hicks
Vicki Wood – Attachment Focus UK
Jennifer Mc Millan – Tumblewood Community UK
Kelly Brackett, Tracey Williams – Manchester Metropolitan University
Daniela Calleja Bitar, Stephania Dimech Sant, Lynn Sammut, Denise Bbugeja, Andrew Barberi, Casey Scicluna – Richmond Foundation, Malta

For your diary:

The International Centre is running several experiential training events at MB3, Toddington near Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 5DQ:

‘Reflect, Experience, Act’

Training for social care, education and clinical teams
March 27th – 28th
July 2nd – 4th
September 24th- 26th
For information and booking click the button below (for the March event)

Book your tickets now

‘Active Education Event’

in partnership with Essex University and TCTC
May 15th – 16th
For information and booking click the button below

Book your tickets now

‘Re-thinking foster care; therapeutic approaches’

A one day conference in partnership with Orb8
June 3rd
Details and booking to be announced soon.

International Centre Research Group meetings

May 12th and November 26th

In addition, we will have a one day conference ‘Care of Young Offenders; progress or decline?’ to be held at the Coram Centre, London on Friday May 22nd in partnership with the Child Care History Network, Social Work History Network and Dartington Centre for Social Policy.

We are also looking towards our second ‘Trauma Informed Practice’ conference in partnership with IRCT later in the year – details and date to be announced.


This edition of the TCJ is themed on ‘working with families.’ We open with a paper by Jennifer Browner and Stuart Harragan of The Mulberry Bush School Therapies and Networks Team, which offers a variety of interventions to families and carers. In this paper they focus on ‘Developments in family work at the Mulberry Bush School‘.

We publish two papers from the USA by Amelia Franck’s organisation ‘’ the first ‘Evidence base for avoiding family separation in child welfare practice – an analysis of current research’ By Erin Sugrue, PhD, LICSW. (July 2019) and ‘The unseen costs of foster care; a social return on investment study’ By William Nielsen MPA, Timothy Roman MBA and Ecotone Analytics (Jan 2019). Read both papers here.

Shirlee Davies an ex-pupil of the Mulberry Bush writes an account of her experience at the Mulberry Bush School in the late 1970’s ‘life in a children’s therapeutic community; the double edged sword effect’. Shirlee captures how residential or ‘out of home care’ gave her an internalised ‘familial’ experience. She comments especially on the sense of bereavement at the ending of the placement and the need for ongoing supportive environments after leaving care, which remains an issue for many young people today.

Renuka Jeyerajah-Dent, Director of Operations at the London Coram Centre writes about ‘Long term foster care as a pathway to ‘permanence’ – messages from practice’. She comments on the importance of the ‘steady base’ of caring and consistent foster placements in providing children with resilience, and argues for the ‘corporate’ parent to adopt a project management approach ensuring well assessed and designated resources are in place to support each child into permanence.

Keith White offer his two regular features – the first ‘being together’ describes the importance of taking time to listen in a ‘here-and-now’ relationship with a boy from a troubled family. His second piece explores feelings of ‘ambivalence’ in both those who find themselves in substitute care, and for those like himself at Millgrove, who were brought up in family homes that also offered residential placements.

Jen Galloway, archivist at the Planned Environment Therapy Archive, MB3, unearths another classic piece from the Cassel Hospital written in the late 60s or early 70s: ‘Child and family psychiatry in an in-patient therapeutic community’ by S. Tischler.

Please do keep sending us your papers, articles and news for publication.

John Diamond

Finchden book
Buy your Amazon Kindle version here

In the last edition of the TCJ we announced the release of our first ‘E- book’ ‘A Finchden Experience’ by Alan Wendelken. This is now available to buy and download in the following versions:

Apple iBook
Kindle Reader
Kobo Reader
ePub Reader

Select your required version to download here


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