What is ICSE?

International Committee of Social Educators? Irish Congregation of Seminarians and Ecclesiastics? Italian Convocation of Seaside Entertainers? or what?

Over the last four issues there have been articles by professionals concerned about high standards of work with children and young people under the banner Professional Insights – sponsored by ICSE. Kathleen Lane, Clair Davies, Vic Citarella and Steve Walker have each covered an issue of concern to professionals today – such as childcare as a profession, social pedagogy and restorative approaches.

They are all members of the ICSE – the Institute of Childcare and Social Education. The title is a bit cumbersome, but it is intended to cover all types of direct work with children, young people and their families outside the established professions of social work, teaching and psychology.


The ICSE was first set up some years ago to fight the battle to get professional registration for child care workers. It was a battle which went off the boil with the promise that the General Social Care Council would deal with the matter, but it is a battle which may have to be resumed.

Today, child care needs a strong professional voice. There are so many new ideas to share. There is so much change going on. There are so many threats to budgets. Children and young people – and especially those who have to live away from their families in foster care, residential care or boarding school – need professionals to be on their side, arguing their case. Otherwise there is always the risk that they become the unintended casualties of badly thought out change.


The new ICSE  is re-using the title to encourage child care professionals to come together, to share ideas on issues such as social pedagogy, to develop campaigns if issues need to be drawn to the attention of those with influence, to set standards for the services and to link with professionals in other countries.

The ICSE has done a deal with the Social Care Association whereby the SCA will provide administrative support to the Institute and offer SCA membership, including the full range of benefits, to those who join ICSE. At the basic rate that amounts to a modest £50 per annum. (If additional coverage is required such as professional indemnity, the rates are higher.)


The ICSE is now open to new members. It offers an opportunity for professionals to shape the profession and influence the way that child care services develop. And one way will be by raising issues in the column Professional Insights. Do you have some ideas which you would like to share?

To learn more about the ICSE or to join, click here.

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