National Centre News: January 2016

Dear Colleagues, A warm welcome to our newest members: Diagrama, Sandcastle Care, Rosie Canning, Action for Children, Fostering through Social Enterprise, and West Sussex County Council. The National Centre is the only free organisation committed to creating dialogue about therapeutic practice and sharing reflective practice, training and research across the residential and fostering sectors. Next … Read more…

An exploration of mindfulness at the Mulberry Bush School. By Annabelle Rose

This  paper was written for the Mulberry Bush Foundation Degree module on: Professional Issues in therapeutic Provision for Children and Young People. Full title: ‘Does mindfulness have a role to play in a psychotherapeutic community for children with complex needs’ ? Introduction There has been rapid growth in the number of organisations attempting to integrate mindfulness … Read more…

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 … Read more…

Therapeutic Communities and Therapeutic Fostering: Similarities and Differences: My Journey. By John Whitwell.

Paper presented at the conference, “Using high quality residential care to meet the real needs of children: from theory to practice”, on Monday 4th October 2010 at the Northern School of Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, Leeds. John Whitwell was managing director of Integrated Services Programme (ISP) , and formerly principal of thee Cotswold Community. A brief … Read more…

Failing Better: Towards dealing with the inevitable mess when trying to help troubled children. By Richard Rollinson.  

Paper given to the Portuguese Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. 17th October 2008. Bom Dia. I am very pleased, and greatly honoured, to have the opportunity to address this gathering on the important subject being covered by the Conference – how, despite our best intentions and efforts, we adults can sometimes have a “disorganising”, and … Read more…

Why people come into residential social work and why some stay in it. By John and Marilyn McDonnell

 From Why Care?: A volume of articles on the values underlying residential work, edited by David Lane and Keith White, RCA Annual Review 1980, p. 37-41 If it is not doing too much violence to a useful quotation: “Some people are born residential social workers, others become residential social workers, whilst some have residential work thrust … Read more…

Press release: Alfie’s magic hat: Fun at the zoo. Published by Sirenia Books.

PRESS RELEASE For immediate release A  new children’s story book has been published for babies and infants that includes signing, or sign language. Designed for hearing children pre-speech, ‘Alfie’s Magic Hat: Fun at the zoo’, the first in a series, recognises the increasing interest in using ‘signing’ to help babies and infants communicate, pre speech. … Read more…

“On Literature” by Dr Keith White

Thankfully for those of us who live alongside, and try to understand, support and care for children, whether as parents, teachers, counsellors, therapists, or social workers, know that there is a range of sources of knowledge and wisdom available to help us. Such resources are over and above our own intuitions, common sense and experience.  … Read more…

National Commissioning Conference Chair’s introduction 2015. By Jonathan Stanley

Reflection, appropriation, acceleration, activation, democracy and dialogue. The National Commissioning Conference Training is undoubtedly amongst the best programmes of any conference. The reason is that the programme is put together by those doing the task for those doing the task. It’s the place we come to hear who is doing what. It’s a place of … Read more…

Group working models – What does a psychologically informed planned environment bring to a traumatised child? by Morwenna Rogers.

Humans are social beings. Historically individual humans are weak, at risk from predators and incapable of surviving for long in nature without others. By being part of a family network; a community or some form of functional group i.e. hunter-gatherer societies, was and still is the safest way to survival. This is thought to be … Read more…

National Centre News – Autumn 2015.

Dear Colleagues, A warm welcome to our new members Every Child leaving Care Matters, Brian Paget, Penumbra Edinburgh, and Jemma Moody of ‘Project Lift’ (www.project-lift.net). Jemma and Project Lift are working with Syrian refugee children in Turkey. Some current context:  It has been a very busy month. I attended the International Federation of Social Work … Read more…

Therapeutic Care in Family Settings by John Whitwell

Introduction. I became the Chief Executive of ISP (Integrated Services Programme) in 1999 following a 14 year period as the Principal of the Cotswold Community, a pioneering residential therapeutic community for emotionally unintegrated boys (Tomlinson 2004, Whitwell 1989). ISP was started by foster carers in 1987 and was the first independent fostering provider in the UK. A core … Read more…