Giving Practitioners a Voice in Child Care and Social Education

Sunday, August 1st, 2010 by Vic Citarella

The Institute of Childcare and Social Education (ICSE) has opened its doors to members.The aim is to raise the profile of a social pedagogic approach to work with children and to make international links to maximise best practice.

Practitioners working alongside children and young people in (mainly) residential and related settings, plus all the people who manage, train, regulate and support them, now have the opportunity to have their professional views and opinions heard and shared. ICSE advocates the highest quality of care and education for children and young people, and in particular for those who are unable to live at home, based on pedagogic principles which put children and their rights at the heart of practice and emphasise their richness of abilities, knowledge and skills.The ICSE’s main aim is to promote the well-being of children and young people through inclusive forms of social education such as social pedagogy and restorative practice. It does this by providing a form of association for individual professional practitioners to develop international contacts, conferences, undertake workforce development opportunities, to get involved with research and providing practice-related information for members.

ICSE has decided to launch in partnership with the Social Care Association (SCA). In this way members secure all the benefits of being part of a wider and long-standing body with an infrastructure. SCA will provide administration and membership services for ICSE and people interested in membership of the new organisation can contact SCA as a first port of call. After all, SCA’s founding members in 1949 were residential child care workers and the organisation has continued to have a commitment to work with children whilst becoming a professional body for all social care workers in all settings across the UK.

ICSE has a Shadow Board in place and its priorities include:

  • Promoting social pedagogy as an overarching coherent framework, enabling practitioners to create a harmonic balance between approaches, promoting holistic education, wellbeing, restorative practice, participation and social inclusion.
  • Creating a new focus on work with children and young people in residential care following on the loss of the National Centre of Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC) in England.
  • Taking steps to be recognised as the (English) National Section of FICE-International, the largest professional association for people who work with children and young people and promote child and youth care throughout the world, which bases its work on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • Leading a Thought Day in the Autumn 2010 engaging with residential practitioners and managers

Vic Citarella, Chair for the new organisation, and himself a former residential child care worker, said, “ICSE comes into being to fill a gap for residential child care practitioners - that gap is one where professional practice is to the forefront and the environment is one of mutual learning between practitioners across the UK and indeed the globe.”

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