Time to Listen

Listening to Woman's Hour this morning, I wasn't really surprised to hear that recent research suggests that young people are dissatisfied with the sex education they receive at school. I do remember my own, which was so clinical and so focused on animal reproduction and the horror of STDs (complete...

Reading the news today about social workers' pay & conditions made me even more concerned about the implementation of the Munro recommendations. Because although most social workers (especially those like me who qualified some time ago) would welcome the proposed shift away from reliance on forms and...

Watching Neil Morrissey's personal journey in the excellent Care Home Kid documentary last week provoked so many emotions. Not least was a deep sadness about the lasting impact of being separated from your birth family (even when it might be in your best interests) and the resulting feelings of rejection...

In the current context, any announcement about new provision or resources has to be welcomed. But I was left feeling more than a little uneasy about the government's decision last week to make cash donations to junior ISA accounts for care leavers. And that's not because I think this group of young people...

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Getting it right...

02 February 2011

You do have to agree that agencies involved in youth work (as any other intervention with children and young people) should be able to show how and why what they do makes a difference. And it is true that in the past evaluation of the impact of these services was not always given high priority, and there...

Reading Graham Allen's review this week I found it hard to believe that any experienced professional working with children & families would disagree with his conclusions. Most know that the quality of relationships is what matters, and that providing support early on is far better than waiting until...

I've done a lot of thinking about Tim Loughton's recent suggestion that the current emphasis on ethnic and cultural ‘matching' is a barrier to adoption, and his belief that if this emphasis was ‘relaxed' more children & young people would have the opportunity to experience good quality family life. Because...

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It’s not easy...

11 October 2010

I've watched a lot of TV programmes about fostering and the care system over the past few months, but it's the Panorama special Kids in Care that's left a lasting impression. It wasn't just that it was what I'd call a real documentary - and you rarely see those anymore. In other words, it didn't try...

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Time to act

29 July 2010

Listening to young people speaking at the Associate Parliamentary Group for Looked After Children and Care Leavers last week it seemed clear that they want social workers, foster carers and residential staff who have time, are committed to staying around and who care about them and their futures. That...

One of the best reasons for accepting an invitation to make a presentation is that you will often share a platform with really interesting people who have their own story to tell. That was the case for me a couple of weeks ago when I took part in an event held at Cambridge University encouraging staff...