residential child care
There are plenty of positive stories that happen daily in the children's homes. My recent experience has confirmed that you don't have to look hard to find the good news, it's common. Fun, smiles, caring about each other, laughter, understanding, achievement, progress, all of these things happen every day, the same as in any family anywhere. Being a created family is one way of looking at children's homes.
What is needed are standards that capture the essence of residential child care experiences. Robert Frost repeatedly returned to consider liberty and individualism describing freedom as 'feeling easy in your harness.'
Just as an unintended consequence of Scottish independence no matter the result will be a redrawing of the way all countries of these islands are governed so too English children's services needs a redrawing of values and ethics, policy and practice.
Children's homes providers have published a powerful documentary report, 'Home Truths - The state of independent residential
We need new thinking about the operating environment we currently frame as a 'marketplace'. We need a courageous, informed articulation of what is happening now, and the start of the thinking that can move us towards a method of effective working, both for quality of care and the health of our finances.
Public care should offer children the same as that we would wish for all children. What we would wish for all children: an upbringing that makes sure they are loved, happy, healthy, safe from harm and fulfil their potential.
An effect of trauma can be experiences of disorientation and disconnection. Impingement on a person can be so severe that it has the potential to inhibit the development or fracture fragile identity, or there is a need for pathological compliance with the demands of another that are inimical to your own best interests.
This is an inquiry report in which children's homes will feel listened to and that is a very major step to healing the hurt that has been done to the sector. Whereas previous reports and discussions have included many extrapolations and interpretations of evidence here we have the transparency the sector has been seeking: evidence leads to conclusions.
What matters is providing connectedness and belonging for a group of young people through appropriate, sustainable accommodation options. We need to focus our knowledge and experience.
The Chancellor George Osborne says that 2014 is the year of hard truths. We agree. It is time for hard truths about children's homes. It's time the Government, as Osborne said about Labour and economic strategy, 'was straight with people' about children's homes.