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“I grew up in care alone – why did no-one tell me I had siblings?”

This story of sibling separation from Ashley John-Baptiste in this BBC documentary article is not unusual. As a social worker I once identified a sister who shared the same mother for twins who had been in our care for years. The importance of properly researching genograms (family trees) and chronologies, really understanding peoples lives by getting to know them and their wider families in depth, gives insight to support identity formation, belonging, a sense of place, [...]

“I grew up in care alone – why did no-one tell me I had siblings?”2022-02-01T16:44:12+00:00

recent news

A summary of recent research reports and articles affecting the residential sector. This month we include a variety of links and articles on subjects such as: Top tips on applying to register a children's home, Ofsted's response to the Case for Change, TACT's report and suggestion for a new national care service, NICE guidance- Diversity , research on leaving care programmes, the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on mental health and a High Court Judge's ruling [...]

recent news2021-09-28T12:22:50+01:00

nice draft guidance, article three

diversity Within the current draft NICE guidance for ‘Looked after young people’, on the subject of diversity the guidance gives only one recommendation: ‘Ensure that looked-after children and young people from groups that have particular needs are not marginalised and that their needs are adequately met. These groups include those from black, Asian, and other minority ethnic groups and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, as well as other groups such as refugees and, asylum seekers [...]

nice draft guidance, article three2021-09-24T10:54:29+01:00

unregulated provision ban- bespoke placements will be ‘considerably harder’

high court judge authorises unregulated placement for 15 year old girl With the ban on unregulated placements coming into force this month, a high court ruling has made the changing landscape even more confusing. High Court Judge, Mrs Justice Knowles, authorised an unregulated placement for a 15 year old girl who was experiencing significant ''psychological and emotional distress'' who was being supported in a side room of an adult mental health ward for her own [...]

unregulated provision ban- bespoke placements will be ‘considerably harder’2021-09-24T18:11:31+01:00

support for care leavers- research

''Young people who ‘age-out’ of out-of-home care face increased risks of poor outcomes, including homelessness, unemployment and substance abuse'' Around 10,000 young people in England age out of the care system every year on their 18th birthday. With care leavers making up 25% of the homeless population. Almost 25% of the adult prison population have previously been in care, and nearly 50% of under 21 year olds in contact with the criminal justice system had [...]

support for care leavers- research2021-09-24T18:15:53+01:00

recent news

A summary of recent research reports and articles affecting the residential sector. This month we include a variety of links and articles on subjects such as: current research being undertaken by the University of Birmingham, planning for change from the perspective of an assistant manager, Supreme Court judgement on the use of unregistered children's homes, updates from Ofsted and an incredibly powerful and poignant article from a care-experienced adult, that will challenge our ideas on [...]

recent news2021-08-24T16:22:28+01:00

planning for change – a practitioner’s perspective

transition planning from the perspective of a children's residential practitioner Transitioning, or to employ a less institutionalised phrase, ‘next step planning’, can be a tremendously unsettling time. From experience it is a period that requires extensive planning and copious amounts of emotional support. There are some key elements in the transition planning that, I believe, can help young people through this process. A smooth moving on period requires an extensive amount of planning [...]

planning for change – a practitioner’s perspective2021-08-24T16:14:04+01:00

nice draft guidance, article two

supporting positive relationships As stakeholders who care for ‘Looked after young people‘ supporting them to develop positive relationships is of paramount importance; creating and nurturing positive relationships will help to ensure that when young people transition between or out of children’s services they have a network of people around them in whom they trust, who are invested in their future and who can support them to move forward How can you ensure you [...]

nice draft guidance, article two2021-08-24T16:11:22+01:00

recent news

A summary of recent research reports and articles affecting the residential sector. This month we include a variety of links and articles on subjects such as: why language matters when supporting children and young people at risk of CE,  the hard to hear but not surprising report from Ofsted on the sexual harassment of girls in schools, Coronavirus and its impact on young people's mental health, the interim report from Josh MacAlister on the state [...]

recent news2021-07-28T15:09:16+01:00

nice draft guidance on looked after children and young people

looked after children and young people should be considered ‘one of their own’ by carers [...]  [...] in order for them to fulfil their potential, new NICE draft guidelines say. Over the coming months Rachel Shepperd, a consultant for dialogue, will be exploring this new draft guidance and supporting you to understand how you can meet the guidelines in your homes. How can you ensure you are adhering to the NICE Guidance? While [...]

nice draft guidance on looked after children and young people2021-07-05T14:00:04+01:00

the case for change

'Profits from English children’s care homes indefensible, bosses to be told' Josh MacAlister, Chair of The Independent Review of Children's Social Care, has released an interim 100 page report ahead of the full review due to conclude in Spring 2022. The media were quick to report on the parts of the review that lambast the independent sector, sparking heated conversation and debate.  Some have criticised the report for being 'nothing more than a collating together of [...]

the case for change2021-07-05T10:18:26+01:00

from independence to interdependence

The leaving care process is awkward to write about; it’s difficult to talk about a young person leaving care, when some young people reflect that “we don’t leave care, care leaves us”. It’s difficult to write about moving into independence as this insinuates a reliance on self-sufficiency, on facing and going at the world alone. When really, who is truly independent? Instead, let our trajectory of focus change from being a move ‘out of care’ [...]

from independence to interdependence2023-07-24T10:03:03+01:00

recent news

A summary of recent research reports and articles affecting the residential sector. This month we include links to research on young people's views about what helps when they've been missing from care and a position statement from the ADCS on the care system with ideas for future development, as well as information about the consultation now open for unregulated provision. Welcome Thank you for your interest in the first of [...]

recent news2021-06-01T12:35:53+01:00

missing children

Evidence suggests that looked after children can be at increased risk of many of the harms known to be linked with going missing. It is therefore important that professionals and carers responsible for a child’s care prioritise the response to missing and know how and when to report an incident to the police. Children who are looked after in the care system are disproportionately likely to go missing. One in every ten looked after children [...]

missing children2021-06-28T10:26:09+01:00

mental health of young people & COVID-19

Coronavirus; impact on children and young people’s mental health Children in care are four times more likely to have a mental health problem than children living with their birth families[i]. Prior to the pandemic, these mental health needs were often unmet, putting children at risk of poor outcomes, including placement instability and poor educational achievement. Given that the current public health crisis has led to reports that distress has increased amongst young people, and that [...]

mental health of young people & COVID-192021-08-03T14:40:45+01:00

what becomes of the open-hearted?

Why we must support resilience in children’s homes staff, by Margaret Davies, Trainer and Consultant at Children’s Homes Quality. Children in care need staff who can connect with them open-heartedly, yet the experience of working in the residential sector is often personally intense and challenging. Staff are commonly at risk of experiencing ‘secondary trauma’ or ‘moral distress’ which will lead to protective responses and blocked care if we do not have well-developed programs [...]

what becomes of the open-hearted?2021-06-01T12:34:46+01:00

the sufficiency enigma

The residential childcare sector is known to have insufficient capacity to meet the needs of the children coming into care. However, the available figures belie this fact suggesting that we have an excess of up to 3,000 places unoccupied at any one time. This paper by the ICHA looks at why this situation has arisen. It finds that there is no one cause but an interplay of factors. Furthermore, the situation was almost inevitable due [...]

the sufficiency enigma2021-06-01T12:34:20+01:00