Brain science and early intervention val gillies

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Presentation by Val Gillies, London South Bank University, to The Uses and Abuses of Biology: Neuroscience, Parenting and Family Policy, 28 March 2014.

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Brain science and early intervention val gillies

  1. 1. Brain Science & Early Intervention: Tracing the New Biologisation of Parenting & Child Care
  2. 2. Brain Science & Early Intervention Project Ros Edwards, Val Gillies & Nicola Horsley Research Process 1. Policy review 2. Interviews with influential advocates: Matthew Taylor, policy advisor Frank Field, Labour MP Andrea Leadsom, Conservative MP Camila Batmanghelidjh, Kids Company 3. Interviews with health & early years practitioners. Family Nurse Practitioners x 8 Children’s Centre Workers x 7 Health Visitors x 2
  3. 3. Science is helping us to understand how love and nurture by caring adults is hard wired into the brains of children. We know too that not intervening now will affect not just this generation of children and young people but also the next. Those who suffer multiple adverse childhood events achieve less educationally, earn less, and are less healthy, making it more likely that the cycle of harm is perpetuated, in the following generation.
  4. 4. Accounts of child rescue followed a general format that challenged poor parents genuine affection for their children as well as their ability to teach children the value of respectable work. Like missionary conversion parables, philanthropic narratives then celebrated the reclaimation of poor youths as productive members of English society (Lydia Murdoch Imagined Orphans, Rutgers University Press Murdoch (2006)
  5. 5. ‘Little Mary’ Reproduced in: Lydia Murdoch (2006) Imagined Orphans, Rutgers University Press
  6. 6. Historical Paralells • The separation of the child’s interests from that of their wider family. • The biological Othering of the poor • The use of exaggerated contrasting imagery to emphasise physical difference • Identification of children as raw materials and future assets.
  7. 7. BUSINESS •profit •workforce •neo-liberal ideology agenda •universities •NHS spin-offs POLITICIANS PROFESSIONALS - practitioners - academics/educators - police/lawyers - psychoanalysts - charities Policy aligned with: •individualism/poverty •marketisation •retraditionalisation MEDIA THINK TANKS FOUNDATIONS CHARITIES WAVE TRUST NEW PHILANTHROPY •expertise •resources (disciplinary wars) INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES - social investment bonds - new philanthropy c. Edwards, Gillies & Horsley 2014 Do not reproduce
  8. 8. Philanthrocapitalism • Large sums of money committed to philanthropy • A belief that methods drawn from business can solve social problems and are superior to the other methods in use in the public sector and in civil society • A claim that these methods can achieve the transformation of society, rather than increased access to socially beneficial goods and services. (Michael Edwards 2008, Just Another Emperor, Demos/Young Foundation)
  9. 9. About eight years ago, my life was changed. Two separate cases of child murder by parents or step-parents filled the newspapers, one quickly after the other. What caught my attention was not the deaths. It was that for a year or two before their deaths these children suffered systematic torture at the hands of their parents, so extreme that death itself must have been a release. I was shocked to the core. I had not previously realised that children could (and often do) suffer so at the hands of their parents. At that moment I made a decision – more accurately, a decision made me – that I could not live in a world where such things occurred while I did nothing about it……I knew that to change how businesses perform it was crucial to understand the root causes of their cost and profit structures…..Could the same approaches be applied to the problem of child abuse? My first thought was, yes, it could. I then began a voyage of exploration to understand the root causes of child abuse. For some weeks I trawled the internet seeking advice, opinions, evidence, references, experts and material relevant to my search. One of my first discoveries was that there were almost as many theories about what causes child abuse as people to hold them….. I was bombarded with ideas by people, every one convinced they held the sole true understanding of the problem. I resolved to base my conclusions only on verifiable scientific evidence. (George Hosking -Digging up the Roots of Violence )
  10. 10. I have now finished reading the WAVE report 2005 and would ask that you let George know that in 30 years of policing over 8 as a BCU commander it is the single most impactive thing I have seen, with I believe the most potential to make a real difference (Chief Superintendent John Snell, Borough Commander, Avon & Somerset Police) The WAVE Report 2005: Violence And What To Do About It [is] perhaps the most significant paper on strategic crime reduction in recent years. (Commander Allan Gibson, Director of Strategic Development, Specialist Crime Directorate, Metropolitan Police) 'The WAVE Report is currently receiving significant interest in a number of Government areas, not least the Treasury. This report could have significant implications for London and allocation of Early Years resources. (Acting Chief Superintendent Michael Taylor, Metropolitan Police) 'Thank you for your presentation at Scotland Yard, it confirms my views and thoughts after 27 years policing in London… I would champion this work back on Enfield Borough. Once again, keep up all your good work. You have my fullest support and utmost admiration.‘ (Superintendent Stewart Rivers, Strategic Change Manager, Edmonton Police) The WAVE Trust [is] part of the solution.’ (Sir Ian Blair)
  11. 11. BUSINESS •profit •workforce •neo-liberal ideology agenda •universities •NHS spin-offs POLITICIANS PROFESSIONALS - practitioners - academics/educators - police/lawyers - psychoanalysts - charities Policy aligned with: •individualism/poverty •marketisation •retraditionalisation MEDIA THINK TANKS FOUNDATIONS CHARITIES WAVE TRUST NEW PHILANTHROPY •expertise •resources (disciplinary wars) INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES - social investment bonds - new philanthropy c. Edwards, Gillies & Horsley 2014 Do not reproduce

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