National Centre News: Winter 2015. By John Diamond

Dear Colleagues,

A warm welcome to our newest members: the Family Care Group, IDEM living (Merseyside), Hillcrest Steps (Oxon.), Right – Trak (Newcastle) and Valerie Packham, Independent Social Worker.

The National Centre is the only free alliance committed to creating dialogue and sharing best practice and research across the residential and fostering sectors.

1.  Children’s Residential Care Review: Independent call for evidence

Sir Martin Narey has been appointed to seek views on the purpose and role of residential care for children and young people.
The consultation launch date was 28 October 2015, with responses required by 31 December 2015.

He writes: the PM and Secretary of State for Education have asked me to lead an independent review of residential care…The aim of the review will be to examine the purpose and role of residential care. I intend to explore the following:

  • the types of residential care that are currently provided, in order to understand the full range of provision.
  • what works within residential care settings to improve outcomes for the young people placed in them.
  • what improvements could be made to the way that residential care provision is commissioned, delivered, regulated and inspected to improve outcomes and value for money.
  • whether there are better alternatives for some of the children who are currently in residential care
  • any other issues which might contribute to better outcomes for children in care.

Your organisation might already be responding to the consultation, but please feel free to send me your thoughts on this remit and on the role and process of this review, and I will collate these and forward to the DfE on behalf of NC members.

2.  Tell friends and colleagues about the ‘therapeutic care journal’

It can also be accessed via the National Centre tab on The Mulberry Bush website.

As journal editor I am looking for ‘reflective’ articles that capture the ‘lived experience ‘ of working with children and young people in residential and foster placements. These can include your poems, working notes, creative writings and reviews of books films etc. The next edition will be out on February 1st.

To spread the word about our work, could you also put a link to the journal and the NC logo on your website and promotional materials.

3. National Centre Meetings

The Research Group meeting was held on November 27th at the Mulberry Bush School, Linden House annexe, from 11 am -2 pm.

The Annual Advisory group meeting will take place on December 3rd at the Mulberry Bush School, Linden House annexe 11 am – 2 pm. All members are invited, but please inform me if you wish to attend to ensure adequate planning for catering, parking, and on- site safeguarding protocols.

4. The 2015 TCTC/Glyndwr University: ‘Therapeutic Child Care and Education conference’

If you are working in the looked after children sector, this annual exciting and innovative conference is for you. This year was the 2nd annual one-day conference in partnership with Glyndwr University in Wrexham, entitled: Agency: Creating empowerment through therapeutic childcare and education.

This year I ran a National Centre workshop at the conference, which informed delegates of the work of the National Centre, and engaged the group in a response to the Residential Care Review ( see above).
The National Centre