Ncercc Conf Proceedings 2008

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Ncercc Conf Proceedings 2008

  1. 1. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Manchester Renaissance Hotel – 5 November 2008 Residential Child Care: Leadership, management, outcomes In this issue Jonathan Stanley, manager, National Child Matters outcomes that serve as a Residential Child Care 1 Centre for Excellence in Residential Child foundation; but what else does residential Care (NCERCC) child care need to add in order to Leadership 2 Positive leadership and management are adequately represent its unique task? essential for residential child care. Managing children’s homes 3 Maintaining the integrity of the child- The conference looked at how outcomes are Where are we going with centred, opportunity-led, residential viewed and used across the world; and group-living task requires leadership and heard of the in-depth methodology used by groups and groupwork in management that both meets the needs of one leading English provider to explore and residential child care young people and contributes to the develop their own outcomes framework. in England? 4 current development of children’s services. This year’s conference examined research Residential child care is a sector Restorative justice and residential and practice into leadership and characterised by its creativity, with settings child care 5 management; and developments in developing according to need. The seminars measuring outcomes for children and offered insights into the different ways in Continuing the development of young people. Keynote speakers which providers have sought to resolve the social pedagogy in English considered the nature of leadership and potential conflicts involved in the management in residential child care, standardisation, differentiation and residential child care 6 whilst the seminars offered opportunities individuation of outcomes. They also looked Making sense of Mental Health 7 to hear positive developments in some of at a diverse range of topics that are all the most challenging areas of residential highly relevant to residential child care, Learning from the Scottish child care. including social pedagogy, restorative experience 9 justice, leaving care, therapeutic It has long been understood that any interventions, decreasing physical Leaving care 10 residential child care evaluation should be interventions, mental health issues and related to outcomes. Defining outcomes workforce planning. Children’s Residential Networks 11 needs to be related to the task of caring for Introducing SCIE e-learning young people within the residential child These conference proceedings represent care context. Outcomes need to be edited summaries of the transcripts for materials for positive behaviour evaluated and communicated effectively most of the presentations – except where management and physical and efficiently. There are the five Every sessions were not recorded. interventions 12 Young people’s views 13 SACCS’ therapeutic residential care for traumatised children 15 Measuring what matters, the social return on investment and residential child care 17 Decreasing restrictive physical interventions 18 Resilience and residential child care 21 Developing meaningful outcomes for young people with disabilities 22 Therapeutic residential child care 23
  2. 2. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 Leadership: Remembering and reclaiming the task and role in residential child care You can’t make anybody do anything, you can persuade, encourage, cajole, inspire, or implore but you can’t actually make it happen; whether it’s a reluctant teenager curtailing their behaviour or a resistant staff member who doesn’t want to work in a particular way Adrian Ward, Tavistock Centre and Leadership as relational and leader understands, engages and works with University of East London, and co-author interactional the whole network of relationships, both of Working in Group Care (Policy Press Knowledge about leadership in the caring within and outside the unit. 2007) and NCERCC leadership professions is not very high and it is not a development materials (forthcoming), topic that has featured strongly on training Leadership as a process both of which consider essential aspects courses, even at post-qualifying and Integral to this relationship-based approach of residential child care leadership. advanced levels. Old labels, such as is an emphasis on leadership as an ongoing, charismatic, autocratic and laissez-faire, are evolving and involving process, rather than (Adrian’s paper was delivered by John commonly used – with a so-called as a static event represented by an Turberville, director of the Mulberry Bush democratic model ‘fitting in somewhere’ as organisational chart of the formal School, as Adrian was unable to be present a preferred approach. hierarchy. Leadership takes time, like any due to travel problems caused by weather.) relationship or set of relationships. One A distinction is currently made between grows into it through a transitional phase: The four aspects of the leadership role in transactional and transformational you become the role, relationships develop residential child care were considered. leadership. Transformational leadership and grow and eventually you move on. emphasises the moral element of The ‘moving on’ is especially important. Why leadership matters in residential leadership. Moving beyond simply getting The truism that ‘nobody is indispensable’ child care people to do what you want them to and applies to leadership in the same way as it Numerous research studies and overviews of in the way that you want them to do it, does to any other role. Too many inspection reports indicate that clear and the model transcends everyday needs and apparently good leaders seek to make effective leadership plays a critical role in expectations, aiming at higher or deeper themselves indispensable, by playing the producing good quality care for children and goals. It draws attention to what leaders charismatic or transformational role, as if young people. The corollary to this is that an have to do to inspire people to think and nobody could replace them. When they absence of leadership, negative or destructive plan beyond the immediate and everyday. leave, the place collapses or implodes leadership, disengaged or excessively because they have undermined everyone charismatic leadership all produce unhappy, Models and terms, including the else’s confidence in their own or the team’s confused and divided teams, poorer quality transformational one, can seem to reduce shared abilities. The other critical point to child care and probably poorer outcomes for leadership to one-way traffic. Almost as if be made about the leadership process is the young people. leadership primarily involves doing things that, rather than simply being appointed to to people in order to get them to do the the leadership position, the process involves There is a distinction to be drawn between things that you want them to do. negotiation and testing out. leadership and management. Management is about planning, organising and Insistence upon compliance misses the point – Leadership is therefore relational and a overseeing. Leadership is about having the the more you insist, the less compliance you process. The best leadership nurtures, vision that informs all that planning; the will evoke. Leadership is not one-way traffic, it facilitates and promotes good practice over sense of strategy to ensure it actually is interactional, involving a complex network the long term, enhances team capability works; and the personal qualities of of relationships that require continual and confidence and is self-effacing rather engagement, inspiration and attention to nurturing. It is unhelpful to see leadership than self-aggrandising. As Lao Tzu said in team issues, such as morale, which are so purely in terms of the leader’s characteristics Tao Te Ching over a thousand years ago: critical to getting the work done. or style. We need to think about how the ‘When the best leader’s work is done the people say “we did it ourselves”‘. The leader as a person Children’s homes can be described as small and intense human organisations focused on addressing the pain of separated children and supporting them towards some resolution of that pain. A children’s home is not a bureaucratic or industrial undertaking engaged in the processing of data or physical materials, nor primarily an educational or leisure-oriented organisation focused on providing emotionally-neutral learning or recreation. Its clients are, by definition, very distressed young people and this distress permeates the very fabric of the building and the human interactions within it. The task combines everyday care and support-giving with a longer-term focus on addressing each young person’s 2
  3. 3. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 life predicament and the distress it causes need the active support of leadership to help everyone’s strong feelings. Therefore, it is them. This distress has enormous them withstand the stress and remain critical that there is an equal emphasis on significance both for the nature of the responsive and positive. Therefore, the regular and reliable access to supervision child care team’s work and the space in leadership role can entail a high level of and consultation for leaders. which it operates 24 hours a day. It has demand and potentially a degree of isolation, important implications for the kind of supporting and directing staff who are The demands of the job require leaders to be support and leadership the team needs. themselves under great pressure. Leaders often able to stand back and to review and evaluate occupy the boundary between the their own experience and contribution. A child care team may have to absorb or organisation and the outside world; mediating External line managers must ensure that respond to extreme emotions in the average between different groups and groupings residential leaders have regular supervision on day’s work, often with very little notice. Some within and beyond the organisation. all aspects of their work, including the of the distress and disturbance they witness opportunity to reflect on its psychological and may deeply affect them, perhaps without Leaders may sometimes have to hold emotional demands. Residential leaders should them fully realising it at the time. This confidential information about change and also have access to independent consultation everyday reality means that child care staff often find themselves the focus of on their role and task. Managing children’s homes: Developing effective leadership in small organisations The approaches used and the ways of working that were established between teams and managers within the fluctuating nature of homes occupy an important position. Leslie Hicks, University of Lincoln and the individual manager’s approaches within Management includes the task of forming co-author of Managing Children’s Homes: the home and their relations with the staff a coherent staff team over time, where the Developing effective leadership in small group and young people; together with quality of relationships is a major organisations (Jessica Kingsley 2007) and managerial approaches in contextual component in establishing the potential for NCERCC leadership development arenas, such as the organisation, other good practice. This requires sensitive work, materials (forthcoming). agencies and the wider realm of policy and constantly revisited, as group composition, procedures. The effectiveness of managers both staff and resident, changes. Leslie Hicks gave a brief introduction to the relies on their being sufficiently well research published in Managing Children’s placed, within each of these arenas, to External levels of influence can come to Homes, and subsequent developmental bring about consistent and reflective bear on the role of manager. The role is work. This involved examining what practice for, and on behalf of, the young performed within the organisational managers do overall; what they do within people in the home itself. Accumulating context. Managers need to feel they have their organisations; the way they work with strengths in these different contexts acts as sufficient autonomy while concurrently young people and the key factors an overall enabler of good practice. having access to line-management influencing positive practice; and concluded support and supervision if needed. with a consideration of the implications for Crucially, to achieve a well-functioning Managers are reliant on establishing training arising from the findings. home, managers and staff must cooperate credibility within their own organisations; to establish a consistency in the they need sufficient development The research was funded by the collaborative culture, led and developed by opportunities and value a close Department for Children, Schools and the manager, within a hierarchical system relationship with, and access to, their Families, and focused on: of accountability. Managers have a key role organisational hierarchy. They value in communicating the home’s purpose and involvement in strategic management and I the role of managers and how they assisting staff to realise that purpose. A contributing to planning, particularly the manage functioning team requires the drawing planning process for their own homes, and I the kinds of leadership in operation in together of individuals into a cooperating in writing and developing procedures the homes group that shares the manager’s clarity on across the parent organisation. Managers I how leadership was achieved and goals and how to achieve them. Managers also need access to external professional sustained and the ways in which need to share roles and responsibilities development opportunities. Each of these resources are used. based on a solid understanding of the arenas contribute to a manager’s strengths of each member of staff. They perception of them being treated fairly Managing children’s homes to produce the must spend time, formally and informally, and feeling valued by their parent care and positive outcomes required maintaining the staff team. organisation. involves more than the use of bureaucratic administration or ‘managerialism’ to The degree of autonomy afforded to Successful managers use formal and establish working relationships between managers is important. Managers must informal means to establish a consistency staff teams and managers. How managers empower staff while retaining their across the group of staff and young people, create, maintain, influence and develop decision-making authority. In small while respecting and focusing on individual their staff teams is fundamental to success relationship-based organisations such as needs. This balance between individual and – it helps staff to meet the needs of young children’s homes, the role of manager group needs involves notions of parity and people. involves and is sustained by many factors fairness, negotiation, and the juggling of other than the manager’s position within resources. The research highlighted the importance of the hierarchical structure. The culture of the manager’s role in terms of the internal the organisation itself and the kinds of Relationship-building is a necessary and external context in which they operate. leadership deployed contribute towards the precondition for active work. Achieving a Interdependent factors in success include success of the managerial role. collaborative team dynamic, which works 3
  4. 4. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 The research examined the elements that distinguish between being able to perform the role of manager adequately and being able to perform it well. Overall, it showed that in homes where the manager had clear, well worked out strategies for dealing with behaviour and with education, staff had higher morale and they received clearer and better guidance. The staff felt that the resident young people behaved better and were less likely to be excluded from school, convicted or cautioned while in the home. They also expressed more favourable views about the social climate of the home; were happier on some of the areas we measured; and were seen as functioning better by their field social workers. The research may have implications for training, although many questions remain as to what would constitute appropriate training. There is still little research evidence about the forms, standards and merits of the training that exists for consistently over time and within the routines (using sanction-and-reward managers or staff who are working, or who manager’s preferred approach to practice, is processes where relevant and appropriate); are about to work, in children’s homes. of primary importance. It is a shifting, building relationships; establishing key However, given the importance of complex and dynamic challenge, requiring worker systems; and developing and teamwork and team dynamics in children’s an active understanding of the dynamics of maintaining relationships with others, such homes, training should be home and the home and of young people’s needs and as field social workers and schools, group-oriented and have a specific focus characteristics. It requires the manager to neighbourhood groups, parents and carers. on individual context and individual be involved in establishing boundaries and purpose. Where are we going with groups and groupwork in residential child care in England? Messages from the NCERCC research study on the importance attached to formal and informal groupwork by residential child care staff The key thing in shared responsibility, is reflection, not a means of managing the place but a means of thinking with each other about what’s happening in the place we share. Roger Clough, Eskrigge Social And I thought what’s going on? What’s developed a project, which is just reaching Research Centre happening in residential child care? I its conclusion, in two parts: an overview What I want to do is to raise some always understood groups and groupings to and a survey. questions about groups and groupings in be at the very core of residential practice. I residential child care. Working in a local thought the community and the people I The brief overview captures some of the authority and looking at children’s homes, I who lived and worked in the establishment key themes around what’s happening in discovered to my surprise that when staff were central. That core belief seemed to residential child care, including changes were talking about their work, the thing have been lost. in the size of homes. Working with a that they valued most highly and thought community of three, two or even one is most important was what they called ‘one- In reflecting on past days, when things and dramatically different from the sixty to to-ones’. If something went wrong in the ideas were different, what I want to do is eighty young people I worked with in an home, they would try to resolve it by one- to share with you ideas about groups and approved school. How has our to-ones. Staff would say: groupings and leave you with some understanding of groups and groupwork questions. The research that I’m going to been affected by size? How has our do you know if only we had one less resident, talk about here is a very small piece of understanding of groups been affected we’d be able to do a really good job here … research and all it’s doing is raising some by perceptions of residential child care, we’ve got this very difficult young man, he’s serious questions. the emphasis on fostering, and societal relating to the other kids, he gets carried changes such as the huge emphasis on along by them, feeds off their excitement, Jonathan Stanley and I tried to set up a individualisation and personalisation? they feed off him, they get him doing all survey about what’s happening in relation I The survey asked how people work in sorts of things and he gets out of control to groups and groupings in residential child groups. We asked managers to complete and if only he wasn’t here, we would be able care and apparent changes to ideas that I an online survey but received a low to really do a good job with the children. thought were at the core of our work. We response rate. Those who did respond 4
  5. 5. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 seemed to be more interested in group runs through everything we do, say to-ones; and this has significance for working with groups than may be the and think; group is the treatment and the groups of young people learning to share, norm today in residential child care. way of life not part of it. to take responsibility and be confronted by the group on their behaviour. So, whilst it was not a scientific survey, we Another says: got some pointers to developments in I want to finish on the word ‘reflection’. Craig practice. Asked about the sort of groups in Our community meetings are Fees, writing about therapeutic communities their homes, people mentioned things like psychodynamic, the agenda is set by what and shared responsibility, wrote: activity groups, and task or focus groups is going on in interior life of the community looking at a particular issue or problem. at the time, which we can be confident will shared responsibility has been used as the They talked about formal and informal manifest itself in the room if it hasn’t term to describe the involvement of children groups, such as child–family conferences, clearly done so yet outside it; the job of the in the running of the establishment. staff groups and external groups. They focal therapist is to ensure that it does. talked about school groups and several He goes on to write about shared mentioned young people’s meetings or What we’ve got there are some pointers to responsibility: community meetings. understanding or describing group living. I would like to pursue the question of how shared responsibility is in fact an orientation Some of the people responding talked we understand the ‘group’; and how that of individuals towards one another, towards about ‘group living’, using those two words. understanding varies in different settings. the groups in which they live. One person responded that: People talked about the skills needed, such as the ability to contain the group well; He goes on to write: If managed by staff who value children, who work well in a team; plan confidently; be want to consult the children, to provide a patient and understanding; set appropriate because there is a formal machinery to run space for children’s emotions, anger and individual and group targets; plan and through community meetings, it is easy to sadness, make children feel safe, contained juggle; provide ‘emotional containment’; miss the fact that the central characteristic and cared for, who want to work with social and be attuned to the children. If these are is reflection not self-government. workers, families and significant others, the skills necessary, my question is: What admire resilience in children and actively sort of training do we need and where My original question was something like: ‘Has build on strengths; who want to plan for the should the training take place? work with groups and groupings got lost?’ – future alongside the child, able to know the that is, have we lost something crucial about children and plan a great structure to the The ‘one-to-ones’ that people were talking group living, communities and shared child’s day, able to challenge the child and about don’t seem to have the aspect of responsibility? As I reflect on residential child others whilst being challenged, then group sharing that goes on in many group living care in the past, I wonder if that sense of the living can be amazing. situations in the best residential child care. group and shared responsibility is something The emphasis seems to be on that is still important, that should still be Somebody else spoke of how the: individualisation, personalisation, and one- central to all or most of residential child care. Restorative justice and residential child care: Messages from research It’s about reflecting on our behaviour … Talking about your behaviour, how it affects other people and what you can do to be better (12-year-old child) account the fact that residential care Steve Fallowfield, Hampshire County Offending rates for looked after children groups tend to have characteristics that do Council have generally come down in Hampshire. not make a sort of ‘clinical approach’ to Steve Fallowfield, who manages seven However, this cannot just be attributed to restorative justice easy to apply. children’s homes in Hampshire, gave an the young people in residential child care. account of Hampshire’s initiative to With regards to overall figures, the position Hampshire had just £5,000 for restorative introduce restorative justice approaches to now is not a vastly better position; justice work. This was quite a shortfall from reduce offending rates of children looked Hampshire’s proportion has come but one the £160,000 considered necessary to cover after in the county. He recorded that child or two children in a children’s court training, through an external provider, and Hampshire’s restorative justice initiative can have an enormous impact on the embedding the core training into their own began back in 2004, when offending rates headline figures. structures. Further funding came from a among children in their care peaked just variety of willing sources, for example, the short of four times the national average Hampshire spent a considerable amount of local Wessex Youth Offending Team joint- against the PAF target indicator. The other time talking to managers of a home in funded training and liaisons with private contentious thing was the number of police Hertfordshire who have implemented a agencies and other local authorities – call-outs to children’s homes. restorative approach, to find out what Portsmouth and Southampton – who worked and avoid making mistakes. They likewise could not afford to go it alone. Hampshire had to do something to reduce identified who and what was needed to put call-outs and reduce offending. Things this training in place, settling on Walker One of the key messages from the discussions could be done about reducing the number Research and Training with Hertfordshire was that there was no of incidents in the homes. Logs could be (researchandtraining.co.uk/) because their point in training half-a-dozen willing souls kept about incidents. But actually making model was ready to deliver and had been from the residential sector to be restorative residential care a better place to work shaped around some of the vagaries of practitioners then expected to champion the and live, measuring that, is very difficult. residential care. They had taken into 5
  6. 6. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 approach. It was not to be left to the The initiative has been evaluated by has been changed to promote reflection in residential sector to do alone – the decision Portsmouth University. The headline staff and young people. For the staff, there was taken to embed it across the system and conclusions are that it is being used regularly are questions like: What were you doing the whole of the child care culture. Training with some perceived success in resolving before it happened? What do you think you was made mandatory for residential staff; some of the conflicts within units. Most staff did? How do you feel about it now? What with briefing training provided for key preferred to use restorative approaches. A do you think you could do to make sure partners, YOT teams, probation officers, police majority of staff working in children’s homes this doesn’t happen again? A totally and the field work managers. understand restorative approaches with separate incident record for the children children and the principles and commitment includes questions like: How did you feel? By March 2006, the majority of staff were it takes to actually resolve conflicts. Were you angry? Were you upset? It trained and a core training period includes a series of facial expressions for established within the calendar for all staff. Two tensions have been observed. A staff the young people to use (angry, upset, It is now part of residential staff induction member who has been seriously assaulted happy, puzzled, and so on) to communicate training. Having started with a certain may feel pressure to opt for restorative how they feel. group of staff, these changes created the approaches when they would prefer to involve need for further training. In 2007, further the police. Police call-outs are still high as It is not a quick solution but it is about two-day refresher training was established they respond to missing person notifications. reflection and managing relationships to keep the impetus going. The training has between people. It is a real challenge for had to evolve and adapt, in the light of There have been developments in practice staff that requires a whole-system approach feedback from staff, to become less formal as a result of the implementation. For with everyone signed up to it – and that is and more intuitive. example, the format of the incident report the direction Hampshire are moving in. Continuing the development of social pedagogy in English residential child care Social pedagogy provides a theoretical and practical framework for understanding children’s upbringing. It has a particular focus on building relationships through practical engagement with children and young people using skills such as art and music or outdoor activities. In a residential care setting it provides a particular expertise in working with groups and using the group as a support. (Care Matters: Time to deliver for children in care. DCSF, 2008) Encompassing a sound theoretical context, residential child care workers in their you both like to do, that is potentially new alongside a very hands-on experiential application; and to discover possible ways for both of you, involves learning together. training experience has, I believe, given me of translating social pedagogic approaches It is helpful in building relationships and a greater insight into the benefits of a into meaningful practices in English participants said that they found this very pedagogic approach. As a senior manager, I residential child care settings. Staff from positive and were trying to incorporate this feel resourced with new tools and an six children’s homes were trained in social approach more into their practice. enthusiasm to see a positive change in how pedagogy and the holistic ideas residential service provision will be viewed underpinning it. Homes were revisited three Residential workers participating in the as a service of choice with trained and months and one year after the training to research reported that previous training respected staff. I will continue to give follow-up support and see how things had often been fragmented. Social disseminate this approach within my were developing. pedagogy gave them a more holistic organisation through training and understanding of how all the various ‘head, information-sharing and hope that on a It seems social pedagogy is very similar to heart and hands’ pieces fit together. They national level social pedagogy will remain best practice in residential child care, so also recognised that social pedagogy is high on the agenda. (Senior manager) some homes are in fact already using often about working with your elements of it. Staff, nonetheless, felt that commonsense, listening to what you feel, Gabriel Eichsteller and Sylvia Holthoff, they benefited as a result of the training not only to what you think. Social ThemPra Social Pedagogy Community and of being exposed to social pedagogy. pedagogy encouraged them to look not Interest Company As a result, they felt they were giving just at the guidelines and read ‘okay in this This presentation focused on what has children and young people more positive situation I’m supposed to do this’ but to happened in developing social pedagogy in experiences, a sense of achievement rather actually use commonsense and do what is residential child care settings in England, than the feeling that everything in their right in that situation for that particular one year after the first English social life is about failure and negative child or young person. pedagogy research pilot projects (2007) experiences. They were building on the were funded by the Social Education Trust positive experiences, showing them that Revisiting the research homes one year on, and commissioned by NCERCC. The they can actually do something, and that there was still enormous enthusiasm for evaluation report can be found at they have resources and skills within them. social pedagogy and much work going on www.ncb.org.uk/ncercc. trying to implement it, and promote it in Social pedagogy works from the other children’s homes. They felt that it gave The project aimed to develop understanding that everyday activities like them a better framework; better ways of understanding and knowledge of the sports, cooking, repairing punctures on a achieving the outcomes; and a way of theories behind social pedagogic tyre, can give you a situation to develop getting positive outcomes across and approaches; to build the confidence of relationships. Focusing on an activity that empowering children or, as one worker said, 6
  7. 7. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 ‘to walk alongside rather than lead the way’. homes, seems most beneficial. The training There was much talk about involving children provides positive learning experiences, and young people more in the decisions that giving participants ownership and are going on and empowering them. Many responsibility for making sense of social commented that it was a holistic way of pedagogy within participants’ unique looking at their practice. working contexts and enabling them to take on board enriching new concepts and Participants also had a greater sense of perspectives. This provides an ideal basis for community, of working within a group supporting them further in implementing living in one home with shared activities. changes within their homes, thus Participants felt that the social pedagogy maintaining the momentum and training had given them the opportunity enthusiasm they have developed during the and the tools to reflect on their own training. practice, and on their own personal influence in their practice, in working with Involvement others in their teams and with the children Social pedagogy requires the support of and young people. And it had focused on everyone, which is why a critical mass of the importance of the concept of ‘head, the workforce needs to gain a thorough heart and hands’ and using them in understanding of it if we want to create balance in order to work effectively. sustainability. This is true at every level, whether it be a team, an organisation, Social pedagogy is a continental approach residential child care in England, or even and every country – like Denmark, Germany the entire children’s workforce. It is and Belgium – has a different approach to it. important that all staff share a basic There is a core that is common to all, but understanding and are involved in any each country has then developed different changes. ways of interpreting it in light of their own society, history and culture. So it is essential Implementation Networking to tailor the model to the needs of the work Social Pedagogy is a holistic approach, and Networks are crucial for maintaining you are doing here for it become a genuinely this means that its implementation should momentum and generating a critical mass, and UK approach. ideally be a holistic one, with social these need to be nurtured both within pedagogy becoming part of every level of a organisations embracing social pedagogy and In order to successfully construct a social system. It is not enough that fieldworkers at a national level. A virtual network has been pedagogic approach within organisations, are making use of it – organisational set up on www.socialpedagogyuk.com the following points are recommended. policies, strategies, leadership, legislation, regulations, and so on, have to reflect Further information and contact details can Training social pedagogy too. Irrespective of our be found on our website www.thempra.org.uk The NCERCC Social Pedagogy research has position, we all can contribute to taking Up-to-date information concerning all Social shown that a mixture of intensive training, social pedagogy forward, starting with our Pedagogy developments can be tracked via followed by direct support within the own practice. www.socialpedagogyintheuk.org.uk Making sense of Mental Health: The emotional well-being of children and young people with complex needs in schools In any setting where there are lots of children with disabilities or complex needs it could be anything up to 40 per cent of your population that could have a diagnosable mental health problem. We are talking about an issue that affects most settings to some extent. Where policies and interventions are owned by everyone from the top down it feels like people understand what is going on and they are going to be safely contained. There is no area of that organisation’s life that isn’t impacted upon by the theory of why they’re doing what they’re doing. Claire Dorer, chief executive of the diagnosable mental health problem. Part of special educational needs as the estimates National Association of Independent the difficulty is in distinguishing between a reckon you are anything up to six times Schools and Non-Maintained Special mental health problem, an emotional more likely than your non-disabled peer to Schools (NASS) difficulty and a special educational need. have a mental health problem. So in any The estimates for the prevalence of mental setting where there are lots of children health problems in children and young A UNICEF report in 2007 claimed that the with disabilities or complex needs, there people range from one in five children with UK is one of the bleakest places to grow up could be anything up to 40 per cent with a a psychological problem (Bright Futures, if you are a child or a young person. The diagnosable mental health problem. We are 1999, Mental Health Foundation), to one in situation is even bleaker if you are a child talking about an issue that affects most ten children estimated to have a or a young person with a disability or settings to some extent. 7
  8. 8. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 I How do you define mental health problems and especially how do you distinguish between what is a function of a special educational need and what might be an additional mental health problem? I Even if an additional need for support is identified, how does the school get access to services? Access to CAMHS has been a major issue, especially for a child placed outside of their local authority. Compare the information for parents about signs of depression with information for parents about autism: there is a considerable overlap in terms of signs such as mood swings, irritability or apparent disinterest in learning. If you are working in a population of children with complex needs and disabilities you might accept a lot of such behaviour as being ‘normal behaviour’. If you are working in a school for children with autism a lot of those things you might reasonably expect to see and to interpret as being a function of that child’s autism. So how do you work out what it is that is actually causing concern? What are they doing with children who A lot of prevention work is around building Thinking about some of the common life they have identified as having mental resilience and particularly around experiences of disabled children gives an health problems? A questionnaire was promoting emotional well-being. To do this understanding of why the incidence of followed up with in-depth interviews in 28 schools are, for example: mental health problems might be so high. schools with a wide range of professionals. A child with a disability has a far higher I clarifying the lines of responsibility for chance of being in a family living in Schools identified a huge number of pupils mental health problems, that is, for poverty, of being in a family where one of who they felt had difficulties – far more identification and referral the parents has a mental health problem or than were actually getting some form of I implementing clear policies to help staff substance-use problem, or growing up in a intervention to help them. Interventions identify when they should be concerned family where fewer people than average included individual therapy, referral to and what action they should take work. A lot of life events impact on the counselling, and the use of medication. I providing staff training, both in child above and beyond having a disability. school/home and external services When asked who is actually responsible for I setting up effective partnerships with This situation has led to policy mental health issues, the schools came back local and placing CAMHS services developments such as Aiming High for with a huge range of responses. In some I changing the environment, for example Disabled Children (HM Treasury and DfES schools, it is someone from a health by providing access to a ‘chill-out’ space 2007); and work on short breaks and background or possibly a care background. I supporting formal therapy, for example individualised budgets, which is trying to In a significant number of schools, it is the by monitoring mood and behaviour tackle some of these inequalities. headteacher who takes responsibility for I using expertise in SEN to support mental health issues. It does make a CAMHS services. Risk factors outside of the individual child are difference who takes the lead and where factors more likely to happen in a family responsibility for mental health issues is The survey identified schools where where there is a child with a disability. In seen to lie within the school. everyone in the school was clear about families of disabled children, the divorce rate who was responsible for making a referral, is higher as is socioeconomic disadvantage. A gradual sea change was identified across if there was concern about a child, and The cost of raising a disabled child can be education in terms of people’s perceptions what should be done. Elsewhere people significantly more than the cost of raising a of their responsibility for a child’s were not sure who was responsible for child without a disability. And families still emotional well-being. Every maintained mental health, whether responsibility was face a lot of discrimination and harassment school is about to have a duty placed on shared across the whole organisation or if because there is a disabled child in the family. them to promote the well-being of children there was a split between care and and young people, and that includes education. In this context, NASS undertook this piece mental health. This is in Every Child Matters of work – Making Sense of Mental Health but people working in care settings Training was a huge issue identified by the – with the Centre for Special Needs alongside education will have seen the research: covering both difficulties in Education Research at the University of change in attitudes developing over time, accessing mental health training on Northampton, to look at schools’ with people thinking more about emotional children with disabilities, and how little it experiences of identifying and responding well-being and how that is promoted features in things like initial teacher or to the mental health needs and the across a whole organisation. social work training. emotional well-being of children and young people with complex needs. How are We found that the main issues schools the schools trying to make sense of that? were facing were: 8
  9. 9. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 Learning from the Scottish experience To make residential care the first and best placement of choice for those children whose needs it serves Maureen Anderson, Scottish Institute for With regard to these latter two, Anderson managers who are in some ways trailing Residential Child Care (SIRCC) recalled that when she had started in behind? SIRCC decided to look at what is outlined challenging and problematic work residential work in 1971 the notion of happening in the workplace and evaluate with managers in Scotland, and described charismatic leaders had rather doubtful the impact of the Higher National some of the policy drivers affecting what is connotations; yet now other areas of work Certificate (HNC) by asking people who happening. Finally, she mentioned some of with young people seem to be wanting have completed it, what difference it has the projects that SIRCC was currently leaders to be charismatic. Changing Lives made to their practice. working on to support managers in also says it wants managers to be brave knowledge transfer and promoting learning enough to challenge bad practice. It In 2007, SIRCC surveyed everybody who organisations. defines ‘credibility’ in terms of a person had graduated in 2006 and had 103 ‘with a firm base of knowledge and respondents. A significant number said The presentation began by considering experience’. She noted that these are very they had had a good experience, which what makes a good leader. similar to Harvard Business School changed their attitudes in positive ways, definitions, and she wondered if business made them think about how they saw the I What is a leader? definitions were being adopted by children, how they saw each other and the I What do you need to do? managers across children’s services work they were doing. They became I What are you doing? including residential work. confident and morale increased at work. They felt that they became more efficient; Anderson observed that it is not enough Other significant changes, or drivers, in asked young people more often to make just to have vision, or just to be creative, or Scotland are the We Can and Must Do their own choices; gave young people just to be charismatic, in her experience, Better report on children’s educational information so that they could make knowledge is one of the key attributes. achievement, or non-achievement, in informed choices; and felt happier at work. Scotland. The report focuses on leaders But despite this positive feedback from In residential work in Scotland, there are and managers and the roles that they some returnees, a majority of people variations and differences between who is need to play in promoting children’s said that: qualified and who is leading. A educational experiences. The Scottish qualifications audit in 2004 showed that Social Services Council has developed a most of what we’ve learnt on our course only 23.5 per cent of managers were sector skills agreement in five stages. The we can’t put into practice. We know now qualified or working towards a qualification first is assessing each sector to determine what we should be doing but we can’t do – significant when one considers the task in what their needs are in terms of skills. The it. The workload’s too heavy, there are residential work. The audit in 2007 showed second is to review all current training insufficient workers for us to try out new quite a significant improvement, with 65.5 levels across the whole of the care sector. things at work. per cent now qualified or working towards a The third seeks to identify gaps, qualification – good progress in three years. weaknesses and priorities in workforce Another concern was that almost 53 per But that still means that 34.5 per cent are development. The fourth is a review into cent of the respondents felt that the not qualified. the scope for a collaborative action. And information, or the learning, that they the final outcome is an agreement on brought back into the workplace was being She acknowledged that lots of these how social services, clinical staff, and blocked at supervisor level. They felt managers are people with lots of charisma, employers who work with key funded managers did not really understand their vision, creativity, but sometimes what is partners, can secure the training or HNC learning, as many of those managers missing for them is that essential element of development necessary. are not yet qualified themselves. In similar knowledge. The other factor in Scotland is consultations with the managers, they that managers are working against a In Scotland, a Residential Child Care readily accepted that they had limited background of massive change in terms of Children’s Manifesto has been produced. knowledge of what staff learnt on their government policy and drive. The Changing The government has asked SIRCC to look at HNC course and some felt they had too Lives review for Scotland makes little ways of making residential child care many other pressures to acquire that mention of residential child care but it does better, hosting the National Residential knowledge. talk in general terms about social work – Child Care Initiative to identify and advise presumably including residential child care on key issues impacting on provision of To try to help with these issues, last year managers when referring to ‘managers’ and residential child care and to agree a way SIRCC produced a workforce planning tool ‘leaders’. One of the five work streams is forward for a step change in quality kit for managers and training managers. about leading and managing. It talks about provision for better outcomes. The Initiative The Learning into Practice project what it expects from managers, for example: will make recommendations for change ‘to consulted with managers on the HNC make residential care the first and best evaluation findings; and SIRCC is meeting I dedication, seeing this as not just a job placement of choice for those children senior people in different organisations, I bravery whose needs it serves’. and also the ADSW, to take the learning I motivation forward. One of the projects that it will be I values SIRCC is looking at the challenges for working on is with the training manager on I equity managers in the context of all this change. Edinburgh City Council who has introduced I inclusion Its 2007 qualifications’ audit showed that if a mentoring scheme, giving managers I providing person-centred services all the main grade workers in Scotland support in their work. I integrity currently in training (over 2,560 workers) I charisma are successful, then 51.2 per cent will soon The Social Care Institute for Excellence has I credibility. be qualified. So what does that mean for said ‘The frontline manager is in a key 9
  10. 10. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 position to promote learning’. Yet the mentoring project will offer them some SIRCC has arranged with colleges to host manager is usually the person who is most kind of support, a kind of critical friend events at which managers can meet the isolated in the workplace. Other workers who is there to advise but not necessarily HNC teaching staff, hear what the usually have ready access to peers who to always agree. content of the course is, and discuss how they can discuss things with and learn managers might facilitate putting some from; and managers really are on their As a result of managers saying they did of that learning into practice in the own. It is hoped that the coaching and not know the content of the courses, workplace. Leaving care: What are the lessons? How do you overcome obstacles? We know that for many care leavers safety is a really big issue. So we put in a lot of support to make sure that they feel there is always someone to talk to. Outreach workers go out and do hobbies with them. We encourage them to join gyms or we’ll go and sort out local links for them. Emmie Spencer and Louise Jackson, Next When the young person is ready to move justice system, or poor health – they are Step Care Management into one of our flats we set up the support vulnerable young people. Next Step Care Management has been package for them, ensuring it is centred providing independence projects for young around what the young person wants Some young people just don’t know their people, care leavers, mothers and babies, rather than what social services might needs and wants. They’ve come out of and young offenders since 1994. Our want, although obviously we take that into child care at 16 or 17, they’re living on philosophy rests on the belief that young account. Before the move, we ensure all their own and they feel like everything’s people should be provided with the means the paperwork is complete, any risk just been turned upside down. They’ve to move forward through adolescence into assessment discussed, and the outreach been used to residential care where adulthood in a safe and supported way. The worker and young person have started there’s always staff there, meals cooked programmes and support offered to young building a relationship before the package for them, always somebody there to talk people seek to enable smooth transitions to actually starts. to. All of a sudden being alone – that’s living independently. Care and support is the biggest challenge that we find the discussed and planned with young people We know there are many pitfalls in leaving young people have. and centred around their needs. care but we also know what works. According to NCAS, in 2007/2008 there We know that for many care leavers safety At Next Step we aim to support the young were 60,000 children in care and 8,300 is a really big issue. So we put in a lot of person and tailor programmes to their young people over 16 left care. From our support to make sure that they feel there is needs. Whatever the young person’s issues experience at Next Step, a lot the young always someone to talk to. Outreach are, we try and support them. We offer people have had poor experiences and workers go out and do hobbies with them. practical and emotional support to fully outcomes. Perhaps due to instability when We encourage them to join gyms or we’ll prepare people for independence. Over the in care, an involvement in the criminal go and sort out local links for them. last 14 years we have worked with about 1,500 young care leavers. We find that at 16 a lot of young people are nervous about leaving care and feel that they are being pushed out to live independently, so our aim is to try and ensure they are ready and equipped to move on. When a young person begins at Next Step, we realise they are vulnerable and try and find out first what it is the young person wants: do they want education, training or employment? We normally get referrals from social services then meet with the young person to find out if what we offer can meet their needs. If they want to live in a certain area we try and locate it. We meet the young person and bring along one of the managers or an outreach worker like myself to start building up a relationship with them. When they are ready, the young person decides with social services whether they want to work with us. We try to build up a relationship with the young person while they are deciding. 10
  11. 11. National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care Annual conference proceedings Issue 23 – March 2009 We try and support them as much as night, if they need any support or if they just our young people to make sure that there is possible. We do regular visits, we literally feel lonely or a bit scared because it’s a new some sort of training programme in place. go in every day; we spend a maximum of area and they’ve never lived on their own Social services also play a big part in their three hours with a young person. Now that before. We want them to know they have not education. A key thing for some young could be to cook a meal, young people just been pushed out into accommodation on people is they feel that, although there are a sometimes say ‘I’ve been living off junk their own, to know there’s always somebody lot of services to help them, they can’t food, I don’t know how to cook a meal.’ So at the end of the phone. connect with them easily. So it is important part of our job is to make sure that the they have an outreach worker or PA they can young person can manage on their own – We consult the young person closely on relate well to who can help them. We try and and outreach workers are expected to sit where they want to live and involve them match every single outreach worker with the down and show them how to cook a basic in decorating and furnishing their flat. right young person because we think that’s meal. We help with things like making sure Initially we take the tenancy for them on really important. that the property is clean and tidy. A lot of the understanding with landlords that if young people that I’ve worked with say, the arrangement works well and the young We work in partnership, networking with ‘Well it was always cleaned up for me’ or person keeps the property in good order, at several agencies, and to make sure that ‘I’ve always lived like that.’ So at Next Step 18 it can be smoothly transferred to the things come together we arrange for we always make sure that we speak to the young person. Housing is the major regular updates, weekly meetings to discuss young person about this: ‘Well no, this is obstacle we found, so we build up good every single young person that we have the standard that we expect you to have.’ links with local landlords and estate agents. with us. We do regular updates for social services, providing reports for them, There’s always somebody out there at the end We also know that education is a major because they want to know how the young of the phone. We have the on-call system, obstacle. We work really closely with their person is doing. Every single young person which is a freephone number so a young Personal Advisors (PA) on arranging has a monthly report that is submitted to person can call us at any time of the day or education and training. They regularly visit the young person. Children’s Residential Network: Themes from practice informing policy I support, or the lack of it, for the Charlotte Levene, principal officer, What happens at a typical CRN event? transition from children’s services to NCERCC, Children’s Residential Network adult services; and about difficulties The Children’s Residential Network events I We start off with introductions. accessing psychological services for 16- are about exchanging good practice to Managers explain who they are and a 18-year-olds better support the children who live in our little bit about their homes. I referral processes and admissions – homes. They provide an opportunity for I Then we talk about burning issues, concerns about not meeting the child managers of residential child care and what’s pertinent to the people working before a placement has occurred others to meet and discuss practice issues. in the homes at the moment. I relationships with other professionals – Participants can be from the voluntary I We move on to theme-based poor relationships with the police, or sector, the local authority, the private discussions: last year we looked at problems getting a social worker sector or residential special schools. education, health and supervision; this allocated year we talked about access to mental I Ofsted, including perceived In terms of the events themselves, it’s an health services, including emotional inconsistencies with the way services are opportunity for participants to learn and health services. inspected. share best practice. NCERCC can then share I After lunch we have a guest speaker, the messages, from managers and somebody from the region, and at the All of these issues have been documented practitioners, with others, including policy- moment we’re discussing what we want and shared on our website and we share makers, Ofsted and anybody else who has education and social workers to them with policy-makers. an interest in residential child care. The aim understand about residential social is to improve the experiences and outcomes work. In discussion groups, we have been talking for children in residential child care in I Finally, we evaluate the event so that about partnership with other agencies. For England. we can use that feedback to inform example, we have thought about the future events. mental health and emotional health The events are organised by Farhana services currently available to young people Allyjaun, our administrator, and myself. So what have been the burning issues of and considered what was going well, not Anyone from the sector can join the Network 2007–8? They have been about: going so well, what the dream situation and attend. We have events twice a year would be, and what needs to change. taking place in the nine different regions I training – NVQ3 is insufficient training across the country, hosted by local members for residential child care Participants identified in-house therapies of the Children’s Residential Network. We ask I staffing and difficulties in recruitment as going well. When there’s a therapist members, ‘Does anyone want to host it for and retention within the organisation or within the us?’ and people always respond positively. I education, school exclusions, lack of children’s home advising the workers or The locations are diverse – sometimes in education information when children advising the children that was working children’s homes, sometimes residential are placed very well. Contact and relationships with special schools. We now have the Children’s I placement stability and cost GPs in some areas were quite good. Residential Network representatives from considerations dominating placements, Where there were specialist CAMHS teams each region coming together to form a truly worries that the current financial for looked after children, to which national group. situation might affect referrals 11

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