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Scsn newsletter spring 12


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Scsn newsletter spring 12

  1. 1. SCSN Support NetworkService ChildrenIn this issue….My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures‘Takeover Day’ in BucksThe 2012 SCSN Photo CompetitionSoldiers in MindCarnagill CHIPS in actionSharing Information in North YorksSharing Best Practice tosupport Service Children Spring 2012
  2. 2. I’m also very pleased to be able to share with you some exciting new research into Military childrens’ issues that was conducted in Canada. Thank you Dani for allowing us to be the first UK newsletter to publish this work. Also of note, SCSN in collaboration with Buckinghamshire County Council and Halton School, have been successful in a bid for funding from theSCSN Update MOD £3M Service Children Fund which will enable us to run a 1 year pilot project in Buckinghamshire.It’s been a very busy 3 months since I last wrote for Following the success of the Halton School ‘Serviceour SCSN newsletter. I’ve met a lot of people from Family Mobility Coordinator Project’ we are nowall walks of life and had many opportunities to recruiting two peripatetic ‘Service Children Supportpromote the needs of Service children and families. Coordinators’ for the county. The vacancies areI’ve been heartened by all the positive responses being advertised across the region and are alsoand I hope we will all be able to continue ‘spreading reproduced later in this newsletter. Our experiencethe word’ in 2012. has shown that it is extremely important to identifyIn January, Kev and I were invited to the North the right candidates for these roles. They need toYorkshire Service Pupil Information Sharing Day in have the right personal qualities and depth ofHarrogate and it was great to see how much relevant experience if they are to be genuinely ablesupport is available to Service pupils within the to deliver the wide range of support we are lookingCounty. Matt Blyton, the event organizer, has to provide. That said, the successful candidates willsubmitted an article about the event which appears find themselves at the forefront of best practice andlater in this edition together with another that will no doubt find the job very rewarding! The DCYPdescribes the outstanding work of the CHIPS at the MOD are looking closely at the project with asupporters in Carnagill Community Primary School. view to potentially expanding the initiative acrossI’m only sorry you’re unable to see the wonderful the rest of the country in the the CHIPS children do in person, they are And finally, SCSN is also collaborating with The Openinspirational… Keep up the good work Carnagill! University on another very exciting project. We areI was also privileged to be asked to be a guest putting together a high quality on-line Continuingspeaker at the SSAFA Forces Help In Service Professional Development (CPD) Course thatConference in February. SSAFA Forces Help have focuses on the issues affecting Service children andworked tirelessly to support HM forces and their their families and explores ways to mitigate them.families for over a hundred years and they continue The course materials will be underpinned by theto do so. SSAFA social workers and In Service latest related research from the UK and overseasvolunteers can offer emotional and practical and the course will be the first of it’s kind in the to Service families and are very happy to All the groundwork is done and we are now activelywork in collaboration with schools and other seeking funding to progress the project further.professionals. By the time this is published SCSN will haveIn this issue we also highlight the work of some hard completed the first of a number of training days inworking Military spouses: Heledd Kendrick (Recruit Suffolk and I look forward to seeing some of you infor Spouses); Sally Scarbrough (Support4Spouses); March and April at seminars and training eventsand Linda and Louise (My Daddy is a Soldier that have been organized at the Universities ofAdventures) have all taken the plunge and set up Oxford, Warwick, Reading and the Vulnerableorganisations to support Service families. I wish Children Conference in Buckinghamshire. Pleaseeach of them every success for 2012. remember that SCSN are able to offer bespokeOn the research front, Dr Grace Clifton, the SCSN training days to meet the needs of LA staff, schools,Academic & Research Advisor, is organizing our first governors and other health and welfareSCSN Research Conference which will go ahead at professionals as required. For more details pleaseOxford University in September 2012. Grace is email:currently ‘calling for papers’ so don’t be shy, we’re tolooking forward to hearing from both experienced discuss your needs further.and novice researchers. Joy O’Neill - Founder and Chair, SCSN
  3. 3. enhance the support already given to British Army Children via various sources by the following, but not exclusively; Ÿ To undertake to promote and enhance the quality of life of those who have a serving parent away from the family home. Ÿ To provide workshops and activities thatMy Daddy is a Soldier Adventures is a charitable offers a distraction to British Army children.initiative founded by Louise and Linda in June 2011. Ÿ To give the parent serving their countryThe organization is dedicated to British Army away from the family home the reassurancechildren who face unique challenges especially when that their child(ren) have support .a parent deploys to an operational theatre of war Ÿ Support the parent left at home and providefor sometimes up to 7 months at a time or even a a wider community.shorter exercise or course away from the family The support and positivity we have already receivedhome. In March 2011 they organized the ‘My Daddy has been phenomenal and we already have runis a Soldier Trek’, an ascent of Mount Snowdon! some fantastic events for children with a parent away from the family home, including a Christmas Party at The Victory Services Club in London for 300 and also a day in January for 56 children at Chelsea Football Club. Looking into 2012 we have a Pop Academy in Aldershot coming up with Same Difference from X Factor and a weekend event in Bordon with The British Army Orienteering Club in June plus many more events and workshops being confirmed for the months ahead.This enabled three British Army children to escape All the comments and feedback we receive fromfrom the stress and worry of their dads being parents and children who have come to our eventsdeployed on active service in Afghanistan. Following has made it all worthwhile and 2012 looks set to bethe success of this event, the ‘My Daddy is a Soldier’ a busy year for us! We are always looking for peopleteam realized that many other British Army children to run events and workshops for us and anyone whocould benefit from such activities. Our aim is to feels they have a skill or talent or service that wouldprovide easily accessible activities via the web and enhance our offering we would love to hear fromvarious activity workshops and events, bookable them! This project has the potential to become aonline, for all British Army children with a parent fundamental resource for British Army children andserving away from the family home to attend, families and we need to utilise all the resourcesoffering a distraction to the child at this difficult available to do this. The AFF, HIVE and Thetime. We see a time in the future when British Army Directorate of Children and Young People have beenChildren will benefit from various nationwide so supportive as have many units and regimentsworkshops and activities covering many different across the British Army, we cant wait to meet lotsinterests, run by My Daddy is a Solider Adventures more Little Troopers at an event near you soon!and appointed regional co-ordinators. In time thesewould spread worldwide to wherever the British Follow us on Twitter: @daddyisasoldierArmy serve and their families live. Our children will Facebook: My Daddy is a Soldier Adventuresbe able to have a positive experience with our Email us at: info@mydaddyisasoldieradventures.orgevents with children in a similar situation. Our Donate or set up a donation page for an event at:ultimate goal is to open a residential adventure BT MyDonatecentre available to all British Army Children with a Read our blog:parent away providing a retreat with planned http://mydaddyisasoldieradventures.blogspot.comactivities offering respite in a community Our website:environment. The objects of the Charity are to
  4. 4. SCSN Research Conference 2012Later this year SCSN will host its first Research Inspirational WomenConference and the event will bring togetheracademics and professionals working in this Of the Year 2012important area. We aim to create a positive andcollegial atmosphere and will provide opportunities One of the (only?) perks of being the Editor of thisfor participants to be able to meet, talk and illustrious publication is that from time to time I getsocialise. to slip in a piece at the last minute that Joy doesn’t know about! This is one of those occasions I have to take such a liberty because I know she would never A Call for Papers blow her own trumpet! Joy, our extremely hardworking Founder and ChairPapers are invited from participants working within was selected as a finalist in the 2012 Daily Mail &the fields of education, psychology, health and social Wellbeing of Women ‘Inspirational Women of thecare and childhood studies, carrying out research Year Awards’. As well as being pampered by therelated to the education or life experiences of sponsors including Sir Phillip Green and the BHSservice children in the UK. The conference will be Group, and attending the Celebrity Gala Dinner atheld at The Department of Education, University of the Marriot Hotel in Grosvenor Square, London, JoyOxford, on Monday 10 th September between 10am was invited along to No 10 Downing Street to meetand 5pm. Lunch and all refreshments will be Mrs Samantha Cameron to discuss the work ofprovided. Booking will open in the spring on the SCSN. Rest assured Joy made the most of theSCSN website: opportunity to get her message across and Cameron was very interested in our work. I just wanted to say well done Joy!AbstractsElectronic abstracts of between 300-500 wordsshould be submitted to Grace Clifton( by May 1st. Authors will benotified of acceptance by May 15th.Organisation and accommodationFurther information can be obtained by e-mailingGrace Clifton (see above). Participants will beresponsible for organising their ownaccommodation although the ConferenceCommittee can offer some information.
  5. 5. promoted to other organisations who work with children and young people.On Friday 11 November, children and young peoplefrom Buckinghamshire took charge for the day aspart of the Children’s Commissioner for EnglandTakeover Day 2011, a national event, which giveschildren and young people the chance to shadowjobs, get involved in decision-making and offer theiropinions on key issues. At 11.00 am a two minute silence was observed as a tribute to those who have lost their lives fighting for their country. Pupils also had the opportunity to attend the Remembrance Service held at RAF Halton, where Royal Air Force personnel were in full dress uniform. Comments from the children and young people participating in the activities included: “That I know other people are going through the same thing.”This year, Takeover Day coincided with “I learnt that other people feel the same way.”Remembrance Day which was particularly poignant “Talking to other Service Children and discussingas Buckinghamshire County Council’s Children and how it affects us.”Young People’s Services are seeking the views of “I learnt a lot and it was nice to meet and talk toService Children and Young People to help those other Service Children.”that work with them to gain a greater understanding “I now understand what all children are goingof the issues that can be faced by Service Families, through and what theyre feeling.”particularly the challenges that can arise from “That other people feel the same and know what IService Life and the impact it may have at school. am feeling.”The day saw seventeen Service Children and Young Marion Clayton, Cabinet Spokesperson forPeople, aged 7 to 18 years, from Halton Community Achievement, who presented those that took partCombined, Princes Risborough and Highcrest with certificates on the day, commented:Schools and Aylesbury College come together to "The children and young people had some excellentproduce guidance about the issues that can be faced ideas for helping service children to overcome theby Service Children and Young People. inevitable difficulties they face, not least in the frequent moves that are part of service life. TheThe Guidance produced focuses on support they feel guidance they have produced will contribute to thethey need when moving to a new area, when a work that Buckinghamshire is developing to supportparent is deployed and when they start at a new service families, which is gaining nationalschool. The guidance will be sent to all schools in the recognition."county, published on various web sites and
  6. 6. NATIONAL businesses are being invited to supportthe British Forces and their families, through thenot-for-profit organisation, Recruit For Spouses,which launched on 17th January 2012.Recruit For Spouses has been set up to bridge the Recruit for Spouses already has partnered with bothgap between national employers and a growing British Telecom, Siemens and Golly Slater providingband of service spouses who are seeking to re-enter a range of opportunities for service wives and hasthe workplace, after subjugating their careers due established a meaningful dialogues with the region-to their partners’ numerous postings and frequent al Chambers of Commerce, resulting in the Northdeployment. East Chamber of Commerce advocating the initiative to their 4000 members.The company has benefited from funding and sup-port from the Women’s Section of the Royal British For further information, please contact:Legion and the web development skills of interna-tional digital agency, STEAK. The founder, Heledd Heledd Kendrick, FounderKendrick (herself an Army spouse and mother of 01666 837786 / 07714 470120two young children) who has been developing the for over two years, said that it had been “along but worthwhile journey bringing the site to itslaunch this month”. She continued, “One of thehardest things about being married to a soldier, sail-or or airman, is the constant moving around; ren-dering it almost impossible to find a job. Employersperceive service spouses as being too transient tomake a worthwhile contribution to their organisa-tions. However we’re here to prove otherwise – beit short term, contracts, flexi working, job-sharing, Support4Spousesfull-time employment or virtual (online) work”. Support4Spouses is a Facebook support group set up by a military spouse, Sally Scarbrough. Sally has aKendrick will be introducing potential employers to young son who is severely sight-impaired due to aover 400 registered candidates from a diverse back- rare genetic condition, primary aphakia. Sally saw aground, and who count skills and trades such as ac- need for a support group for military spouses withcountancy, HR experts, lawyers and PAs among their children with disability, additional needs and illness.numbers. STEAK has created a sleek web design, She set up this group in December 2011 and itwhich makes it simple for employers and spouses to already has over 100 members. It is a place whereregister their vacancies and CVs. spouses can discuss problems, let off steam or signpost information and advice.A nominal charge will be made to employers (signifi- Support4Spouses can be found atcantly less than most recruitment agencies) and or contact Sally onprofits from the venture will be ploughed back into charities, fully embracing the much talkedabout military covenant.
  7. 7. Supporting Service Children and Families in Loss and BereavementSuitable for all those whose work involves contact with service childrenand families including unit welfare officers and community development officers, teachers and school support staff, psychologists,health and welfare professionals, social workers 29th March 2012 Aim To provide an overview of the range of loss experiences military families face with particular focus on bereavement. Learning Outcomes Ÿ To gain an understanding of the models of deployment and the impact on the family. Ÿ To gain an understanding of the theories and models of bereavement and bereavement support. Ÿ To identify and understand the additional losses experienced by military families. Ÿ To identify positive ways of supporting bereaved military families. Ÿ To gain information about the Child Bereavement Charity and other military support organisations and resources available. Details of the day: Workshop to be held at: For further details please contact: CBC Training Department 10.00am–4.00pm The Clare Foundation Email: (Registration 9.30am) Wycombe Road FEE: £99 Saunderton Tel: 01494 568909 (to include refreshments Bucks &a HP14 4BF light lunch) Charity Number 1040419
  8. 8. deployments and PTSD on adolescent children is the whole or partial loss of both parents as parental figures (parenting deficit). From our interviews with CF adolescents, there were significant gender differences in the ways that this impact was experienced and discussed. The boys we interviewed did extra work at home when their parents were deployed, but the nature of the work they took on was different from that ofParental Deployments, Adolescents’ their female peers. When they described the choresHousehold Work, and Gender: The they typically performed, they described yard work,Findings of a Canadian Interview Study. car repair, shoveling snow, and other typically masculinized (and physical) tasks. When one ofDanielle Kwan-Lafond (PhD candidate, York their parents was deployed or suffered from PTSD,University), Deborah Harrison (University of New the boys reported forsaking extra-curricularBrunswick and OISE/UT), and Patrizia Albanese activities to provide enhanced support to their(Ryerson University). undeployed parent far less frequently than the girls did.Across Canada there are about 30 Canadian Forces(CF) communities, populated by thousands of youngpeople – an invisible minority – who grow up in In contrast, the girls talked about building self-military families and experience frequent moves and esteem by taking on responsibilities in their families,parental deployments. One of the purposes of our including parenting work, such as dressing, feeding,research project was to examine the impact of or supervising their younger siblings, and othermilitary life stressors on CF adolescents chores, such as food preparation and household( cleaning tasks. They described their increasedIn 2009-2010, we conducted 61 interviews with 35 domestic work as being very important to theirgirls and 26 boys who attended Armyville High families, and felt good about taking onSchool ([AHS] a pseudonym) and whose parents responsibilities that they perceived as preparingwere present or former CF members. Our project them for adult life. Less obvious, but perhaps morepartner was the Armyville Regional School District. labour intensive, was the emotional support orOur main joint objective was to facilitate enhanced carework many of these young women provided toschool-based support for adolescents affected by one of their parents while their other parent wasparental deployments. deployed or suffering from PTSD. Many of the girls were hyper-aware of their at-home parent’s mental/emotional state, as well as his/her stressOur recent paper in Studies in Political Economy level and work load, and wanted to be as helpful andexplored possible impacts of the military stressors supportive to him or her as possible. This workdeployments and PTSD upon the self-esteem of girls included doing a better-than-usual job of managingat AHS. In examining our participants’ engagements relations with siblings, suppressing their ownin activities that contribute to building self-esteem, emotional needs, and giving up their extra-curricularwe found that while the boys built their self-esteem activities and outings with friends.primarily through sports, the girls tended to buildtheirs through their familial roles: taking onincreased responsibilities (unpaid domestic and care We can best understand these findings by situatingwork) when their parents were preoccupied with military family life within the context of thedeployments, and with deployment-related injuries overarching military institution. In military families,such as PTSD. We found not only gender differences daily life is expected to revolve around supportingin the amount and kinds of work that military the goals of the military institution. Although thereadolescents did at home, but also a gendered are more women in the CF today than forty yearsdivision of work that intensified during deployments ago, women are still dramatically under-representedand if the military parent returned home with PTSD. in leadership roles and combat occupations.As noted in the literature, one significant impact of Military fathers are still positioned as the traditional
  9. 9. heads of households, acting as the leaders, Suggested Readingsproviders and protectors of nuclear families, even astheir jobs demand that they often be separated Armstrong, P., & Armstrong, H. (1990). Theorizingfrom their families in order to “serve their country.” womens work. Toronto, ON: Garamond.Hence, concomitant with the continued devaluationof women in the CF (especially in army combat Enloe, C. (2000). Maneuvers: The internationaloccupations), gender expectations about work and politics of militarizing womens lives. Berkeley:family life remain deeply ingrained in military University of California Press.communities. Boys and girls are consequentlyvalued and gain self-esteem largely according to Harrison, D., & Albanese, P. (2012, in press). Thehow well they fulfill their expected roles in the parentification phenomenon as applied tofamily - roles which reflect their respective genders. adolescents living through parental military deployments. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth.Military culture in Armyville also appears to presideover the activities that are promoted and facilitated Harrison, D., & Laliberté, L. (1994). No life like it:by the school and community. While sports Military wives in Canada. Toronto, ON: Jamesopportunities are plentiful for youth of both genders Lorimer & Armyville, the young men reported participatingin more sports and sports leadership roles (e.g., Huebner, A., Mancini, J., Wilcox, R., Grass S.,coach, team captain) than the young women, and & Grass, G. (2007). Parental deployment andbeing immersed in a larger number of rich friendship youth in military families: Exploring uncertaintynetworks as a result of their sports involvements. and ambiguous loss. Family Relations 56, 112-122.Sports therefore appear to be more central to thecreation and maintenance of Armyville boys’ self- Kwan-Lafond, D., Harrison, D., & Albanese, P. (2011).esteem than to that of their female peers. The CF Parental military deployments and adolescents’recruits especially heavily from among the male AHS household work. Studies in Political Economy 88,students, and since physical fitness is a pre-requisite 163-189.for qualifying for army training, it makes sense thatsports and other physical activities are of Luxton. M. (2006). Feminist political economy inheightened importance to, and a major source of Canada and the politics of social reproduction.self-esteem for, Armyville’s adolescent males. In Social reproduction: Feminist political economy challenges neo-liberalism. M. Luxton and K. Bezanson (Eds.). Montreal: McGill-Queen’sWe were troubled to discover that an important University Press, pp. 3-11.source of increased self-esteem for young women inCF families appears to comprise meeting the very Mmari, K., Roche, M., Sudhinaraset, M. & Blum, R.gender role expectations that keep women’s (2009). When a parent goes off to war: Exploringinterests subordinate to mens in CF culture. Like the issues faced by adolescents and their families.other demanding occupations in Western countries, Youth & Society, 40 (4), 455-475.military organizations rely upon the unpaid work ofspouses (in this case mostly wives) of members. Ourresearch suggests that military organizations also Segal, L. (2008). Gender, war and militarism:benefit from the unpaid housework and carework of Making and questioning the links. Feministdaughters. Review 88, 21-35. This work was funded by the Social SciencesThese tendencies simultaneously reinforce gender and Humanities Research Council of Canadastereotypes and contribute to military organizations’ Standard Research Grants Program.operational effectiveness. Given the number of CFfamilies that have been, and continue to be,affected by multiple overseas deployments, and byPTSD, it is likely that the gender role differencesidentified in this paper will continue or intensifyduring the coming few years.
  10. 10. SCSN Service Children Support Network ‘Through the Eyes of a Service Child’ Photography Competition 2012 Sponsored bySCSN
  11. 11. PhotographyCompetition2012 SCSNThe Service Children Support Network (SCSN) in collaboration with the Royal Air Force Museum are pleased to announce the launch of the SCSN Photography Competition 2012.Service Children are invited to submit a photograph that reflects life… ‘Through the Eyes of a Service Child’ The Entry Categories are: 5’s and under, 6 - 9 years, 10 - 13 years and 14 - 18 years Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each category. The Prizes*: 1st - £150.00, 2nd - £75.00, 3rd - £50.00 * Prizes to be chosen by the winners and taken in goods from the Museum Shop (cash alternatives are not available). Winners and their families will also be invited to thePrize Giving Ceremony at the RAF Museum London on 8 June 2012 and will also receive afamily ticket to the stunning 4D Theatre at the RAF Museum London or the simulators at the RAF Museum Cosford. Eligibility and Competition RulesThe competition is open to all children of HM Forces (and Reservists). For full details of submission and Competition Rules please go to
  12. 12. N Yorks ‘CHIPS’ Childline and focused on developing pupils’ listening skills. Thankfully, some of our school staff were also trained at the same time so we have been able toIn Action! ensure that this valuable initiative can be sustained in the future. Children are asked to make a formal application explaining how they would deal willOfficially CHIPS stands for ‘Childline in Partnership’ certain tricky situations and what they wouldbut the 26 fully-trained peer supporters at Carnagill personally bring to the role of a CHIP.Community Primary School on Catterick Garrison Parents/carers show their support by assisting theirprefer to be called Children’s Problem Solvers. child to complete the form and giving their consent. Successful applicants (everyone so far) are invited toThe CHIPS (ChildLine in Partnership with Schools) attend an interview with the Headteacher andinitiative was set up in 2008 to raise awareness Home School Support Adviser and are informed byabout ChildLine and encourage schools to support letter if they have been appointed. Being a CHIP hastheir pupils with project-based activities which a high profile at Carnagill Community Primaryhighlight Childlines service. School and the impact has been extremely positive empowering children and enhancing their life skills. The CHIPS recently gave a well-received presentation at a North Yorkshire conference for personnel involved with service pupils. But perhaps the best way to describe how the CHIPS programme has had such a positive impact at Carnagill is through the words of the children themselves… Charlotte: Training to be a CHIP is quite a big responsibility; I mean a really big responsibility. We know that we can help other children who are having problems like moving or a family member inAlthough funding was later withdrawn and the Afghanistan.CHIPS programme closed down by Childline, anumber of schools including Carnagill Community Fiona: It is really important to be confidential butPrimary have kept the initiative alive through their we cannot keep secrets. A child’s worries often goown in school programmes and it is still providing away when a CHIP has helped.immense support to those children involved.The CHIPS volunteers are all children from years 5 Natasha: Children come to CHIPS for lots of reasons,and 6 and they regularly give up their lunch times if they have no-one to play with, if they think peopleand make themselves available to listen to the are being unkind to them, missing their mum or dadworries of other children and help them find a if they are away or if their pet has recently died. Butsolution to their problems. the main reason children come to CHIPS is because they know that no matter why they came we will always listen.Initially, comprehensive training for this importantrole in our school was given by a coordinator from Sandie Fitton - Headteacher
  13. 13. Soldiers in MindInformation Sheet In partnership with the Lt Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial TrustMissionSoldiers In Mind is committed to providing free mental health services to military personnel and theirfamilies, who are, or have been affected by military duty. It is an independent mental health service,separate from the military, and offers complete confidentiality subject to assessment of occupational risk.BackgroundSoldiers In Mind is a new service that has been designed and developed in a creative and innovativepartnership between Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) and the Lt DougieDalzell MC Memorial Trust.Soldiers In Mind is based on the guiding principles of reducing the stigma associated with seeking mentalhealth care, offering choice and improving confidentiality and accessibility. We aim to ensure that servicepersonnel, who might otherwise fail to seek or receive appropriate services, now have a new option foraccessing the mental health support they may need.The other main area of focus for Soldiers in Mind will be in providing a signposting, assessment, support andtreatment service for the families or identified significant others (ISOs), including children and adolescents,of active service personnel who have been physically injured or psychologically affected in the line ofmilitary duty.How it worksSoldiers In Mind will be launched in March 2012 and will be piloted in the South of England. Theservice is currently in its developmental stage.All serving personnel are able to self-refer to the service via a telephone call or email. Those wishing torefer serving personnel on their behalf, or refer families or significant others, will be required to complete abasic referral form via email.Eligibility will be determined at the point of referral and an appointment for assessment will be offeredwithin ten working days of a referral being made. Consultations will take place in the afternoons, eveningsand at weekends, at a location suitable to the patient to ensure a convenient and easily accessible service.Soldiers In Mind will offer treatment and support in accordance with guidelines from the NationalInstitute of Clinical Excellence in treating acute stress, adjustment disorder and post-traumatic stressdisorder (PTSD) and will also respond to other mental health needs such as depression and anxiety.Soldiers In Mind aims to provide an equivalent service to that which is offered by the military to ensureequality and fairness.Although independent of the military, Soldiers In Mind will aim to work in partnership with themilitary’s own healthcare professionals wherever possible.ContactFor further information please contact Soldiers In Mind, Nicola Lester, on 07912763247
  14. 14. Sharing InformationIn North YorkshireOn the 27th January, 2012, almost 120 delegatesattended the North Yorkshire Children and YoungPeople Service’s Schools with Pupils from ServiceFamilies Project: Information Sharing Day. Thisincreasingly-popular event, now in its fifth year, wascoordinated by the LA’s Quality andImprovement Service in conjunction Cynthia Welbourn, Director of CYPSwith a ‘leadership’ working party of opened the event.senior school leaders and governors. The day was jointly launched by Cynthia WelbournIts aims were to: (Director of CYPS), Brigadier Greville Bibby, CBE Ÿ Strengthen partnership working. (Commander of 15 Brigade) and Group Captain Ÿ Provide national and regional updates. Terry Jones (Station Commander of RAF Linton on Ÿ Learn from case studies and presentations Ouse). They highlighted the importance of the of good practice. ‘community around the child’, the current challenges faced by Armed Forces families as a Ÿ Reflect on possible work-streams for the LA result of chronic mobility, and the current tempo of supported project during 2012. fierce operational deployment. Therefore it isThe composition of the audience realised the first of extremely important that educationalthese aims. 35 schools were represented, 12 local establishments provide a haven of normality andauthority staff attended from a variety of service areas, 25 MoD staff were present (includingboth Unit Welfare Officers and CommunityDevelopment Officers), together withrepresentatives from a variety of military-associatedorganisations including SSAFA, AFF, RBL, CEAS, SCSNand the Royal Caledonian School’s Trust. We alsowelcomed delegates from schools in Germany,Oxfordshire and Scotland, Local Authoritycolleagues from York and Nottingham City Councils,and two researchers from London. Some slots werebuilt into the day to facilitate discussion of a rangeof issues. Brigadier Greville Bibby, addressing the delegates.
  15. 15. The Brigadier described the conference as anexample of ‘the Military Covenant in action’ andoutlined the number of Catterick-based familieslikely to be affected by Operation Herrick 17deployments from October. He made the point that‘those who stay behind can have it tougher thanthose who go’. He reinforced the key message thatwhilst children of military families bring manypositives to our schools, they also have some uniqueneeds and potential vulnerabilities as a result oftheir families’ lifestyles. rightly drew on the positive and unique influences service pupils bring to schools. To conclude, she outlined some of the implications of the 2012 Ofsted evaluation schedule for schools with service pupils; an aspect of particular interest to the many school leaders present. The morning was concluded with case studies from two North Yorkshire schools that had been visited by inspectors as part of this survey. Dishforth Airfield Community Primary School and Thirsk Secondary School and Sixth Form College were both judged toA lively start to the conference was assured when a have ‘good partnerships practice’: Julie Lyon, thegroup of 4 Year 5 pupils from Carnagill Community Headteacher of Dishforth Airfield, outlined the rangePrimary School, one of five primaries on Catterick of systems the school has put in place to minimiseGarrison, outlined their roles and responsibilities as the potential negative impact of service mobility and deployment, such as the maintenance and regularCHIPs’ peer mentors. This Childline initiated scheme update of a vulnerability register. She was ablyreminded the audience of the power and supported by seventeen KS2 pupils who shared theimportance of peer support. positive experiences they have at the school through the media of dance, readings and song.Our keynote speaker, Jane Melbourne (HMI), thenaddressed the conference with a brief overview ofthe key findings published in the Children in Service Pauline Simpson, the pastoral head of ThirskFamilies survey report she authored last year. Of Secondary, followed this with examples of goodparticular interest, however, were the examples of practice from a secondary perspective, andgood practice she outlined that inspectors had seen introduced one of the winners of last year’s SCSN artat both school and local authority level, but which competition ‘Through the Eyes of Service Child’. Thiscould not be published within the report. These extremely articulate sixth former moved theincluded effective communication systems, policies audience with her reflections of what it means to beon pupil mobility and the use of Armed Forces a service child and what inspired her to produce her‘champions’ and points of contact. Her presentation picture.
  16. 16. Helen Butler, the school’s Armed Forces LiaisonOfficer, concluded the morning with a poignantrecount of how the school community was affectedand coped with the bereavement of a parent. As a result of the success of the day, and in response to feedback from delegates, new work-streams are being agreed for working parties to address in the following year with the intention to again shareDuring the afternoon, and following various local some of the outcomes at the 6th Information Sharingand national updates from the Local Authority, Army Day, provisionally scheduled for the 25th JanuaryWelfare Service, DfE and CEAS / SCISS (Service 2013.Children in State Schools), the floor was handedover to the RAF, mirroring a similar army slot at last All presentations and resources from the day haveyear’s event. Wing Commander Jim Prudin (OC been uploaded into a web-based learning platformSupport Base Wing) and Sqn Ldr Andrew Cavaghan room and can be accessed until the end of the(OC PMS), both of RAF Leeming, outlined the academic year throughwelfare support structures available through the (username: nyserviceRAF together with the significant scope of the RAF password: pupils). Visitors to the ‘room’ arewithin Yorkshire. encouraged to post a comment on the forum.In a memorable conclusion to the day, Battery Matt Blyton, Education Development Adviser (NorthSergeant Major Dave Taylor, supported by his wife Yorkshire’s Quality & Improvement Service)Gayle and Sergeant Andy Tomlinson, shared someperspectives of Armed Forces parents. As membersof 5 Royal Artillery, Dave and Gayle have first-handexperience of both chronic mobility and the impactof operational deployment on a service family. Withfour children between them, Dave and Gayle sharedsome of the difficult choices they have been facedover their children’s education. They certainly gavethe delegates plenty to reflect on as they left theconference centre in Harrogate.
  17. 17. Research project investigating the experiences of, and impact upon, children and adolescents when a family member goes missing.Who is running the project?My name is Jennie Norris and I am a final year Clinical Psychologist in Training at the University ofHertfordshire. I am also on a specialist placement at CHUMS Child Bereavement and Trauma Service inLuton where I provide psychological therapy and support to children who have been traumaticallybereaved.What is the project about?I am currently running a doctoral research project exploring the experiences of, and emotional impactupon, children and adolescents when a family member goes missing, e.g. missing in action during combat.T o date, there has been no research focusing on how young people cope when an immediate familymember (mother, father, brother, sister) goes missing. As such, little is known about the type of practicaland emotional support that they may require having gone through such an experience. This project aims tospeak to several young people in affected families to understand their lived experiences and give them avoice. It is hoped that the research will shed light on how best to support young people in this situation, soappropriate help can be given in the future, as currently there is little practical or emotional supportavailable.Who can take part?All children and young people between the ages of 7 and 16 who have an immediate family memberwho is missing, or has previously been missing, are invited to take part.What will participation involve?All participants will be interviewed informally about their experiences since their family member wentmissing. The interview will focus on how they have been affected emotionally, socially and practically, aswell as on the things that have helped them to cope through this difficult time. The interview can takeplace at home, school or a location of the participants’ choosing. Parental consent will be required.Participants can withdraw from the study at any time.ConfidentialityAny information collected will remain strictly confidential and all names will be removed so thatparticipants cannot be recognised. The only circumstance under which confidentiality would be broken is ifinformation is disclosed which suggests that the participant, or someone else, is at risk of harm.Who else is involved?The project is being run in conjunction with Missing People and the Missing Persons Bureau at the NationalPolicing Improvement Agency. It is being carried out as part of a doctoral qualification in ClinicalPsychology at the University of Hertfordshire, where it is being supervised by Dr Saskia Keville, AcademicTutor and Clinical Psychologist. The study has been approved by the University of Hertfordshire PsychologyResearch Ethics Committee (Protocol number: PSY/10/11/JN), whose role is to ensure that research isconducted in a safe and ethical manner.What will happen to the results of this research study?The findings will be published in a thesis for the purpose of gaining a Clinical Psychology qualification. Asummary of the main research findings will be published in an academic journal.How to get involved If you decide that you would like to take part, please contact me at 07765 004112 I am happy to answer any questions you might have.
  18. 18. notably when, for two of the children, their fathers were sent on tours of duty to Iraq. During this time, these children worried about their fathers and, most significantly, about the effect his absence would have on their mother. Consequently, school work took second place to coping with their father’s absence. The families of these children were able to give them varying levels of support. The serving soldiers were rarely able to attend school events due toThe Experience of work commitments. The most involved mother, from the sample, worked within childcare and was,Education of therefore, I felt more comfortable with contacting education professionals and negotiating on herService Children child’s behalf. For the other mothers, their own experiences of school had not been so good andSince 2002, I have been carrying out research into this, together with earlier difficulties in theirthe experience of education of service children children’s education and their own difficultiesattending secondary schools in the UK. This coping with mobility and the absence of theiremerged from my own experiences as an Army wife husband, had led them to take a less proactiveand as a secondary school teacher. The research stance towards their children’s schools andinvolved spending over a year in a secondary school teachers.located near an Army garrison in the South ofEngland, carrying out in-depth observations and All of the parents had employed similar means ofinterviews with four focus children as well as their choosing a school for their children – they reliedparents, teachers and headteacher. In order to heavily of ‘word of mouth’ and chose the schoolcorroborate their evidence, I also interviewed local nearest to their quarter for their child (if that schoolArmy and education officials, as well as people with had an available place!) Some of the parents werean interest in the subject at a national level, such as not able to visit the school before registering theirthe Ministry of Defence Service Families Task Force child. For all of the parents involved, boardingteam. These findings were compared to a second school was not an option – not for financial reasonsschool in the East of England, also located near an but because they all felt that children should be withArmy garrison. their parents and not sent away. Teachers in both schools described the difficulties they faced workingThe Findings in ‘Service’ schools. These included receiving newBy the age of eleven, all of the children had students who had no files or, at the very least, filesattended at least four schools, including schools in with significant gaps in them. Students had oftenother Nation States of the UK as well as within the studied different areas of the National CurriculumSCE in Germany. This level of mobility was and, at Key Stage Four in particular, this led to acutesomething which the children seemed to neutralise, difficulties.not wanting to talk about how painful a move mightbe. Nor were they able to take ownership of any of Funding issues did not help schools to support Armythe schools that they had attended, talking in terms children effectively, with funding for new studentsof ‘the school’ rather than ‘my school.’ In lessons, I often arriving well after that student had joined adid not feel that the children were ‘active’ learners, new school. Education professionals repeatedlypreferring not to engage directly with their teachers mentioned concerns that mobility was having aand asking friends for help instead. Their negative impact on children’s attainment – andfriendships were defined by fluidity and change, whilst the link between mobility and attainment iswith the girls maintaining friends outside of the difficult to make, within the small group of focusArmy structure, whilst the boys had friends from children involved in this research, all of the childrenother Army families (particularly from the same had lower than average literacy levels. Concernsregiment as their fathers). The Army had a very were also raised that there may be higher incidencesstrong influence on all of the children – most of special educational needs in Army children.
  19. 19. My feeling was that schools did not really understand Wider Implications of the Research for all Servicethe Army ‘culture’ and that this led to Familiesmisunderstandings between teachers and Army Since finishing my PhD, I have been involved instudents and their parents. Similarly, local Army promoting education issues for all service children, notofficials did not realise the extent to which their way just those specifically from an Army background. Withof life had an impact on the ability of schools to do that in mind, the theories outlined above can betheir work and links between schools and the Army developed and applied, to a greater and lesser degree,were often weak. to children from both RAF and Navy Families. Essentially, the key to understanding the experience ofTheories Emerging from this Research education of all service children is analysing the extentI concluded that there were five theories to emerge to which, firstly, the service child leads a highly mobilefrom this research. Firstly, Army children developed lifestyle and, secondly, the extent to which the serviceindividual coping strategies to help them negotiate child identifies with the service ‘culture’. Generally,their time at school. Social coping strategies involved children from RAF and Naval families lead less mobilenot getting too close to their friends and ‘letting go’ of lifestyles than their Army peers. As a result, the firstthem when they knew they had to move on. Outside two theories outlined above may well apply less toof school, all of the children developed a very strong RAF and Navy children. However, all service childrenbond with their mother as she was the constant pres- are likely to identify with the culture of the armedence at home. Academic coping strategies involved services – particularly if the service family live in anot taking responsibility for one’s own work and main- quarter and the service child attends a school wheretaining a ‘low profile’ in the classroom. The implica- there is a high percentage of service children. Both oftions of these coping strategies are clear - they help these would lead to a stronger understanding of andthese children to ‘get by’ at school although they identification with the service lifestyle. This could welldidn’t necessarily thrive there. Secondly, I felt that put service children at risk of exclusion if schools domobility both directly and indirectly affected the not meet their particular needs.educational experiences of Army children. Relation-ships with teachers and friends, described above, were Recommendations for Familiesmost affected. However, mobility also meant that par-ents were unlikely to know about local schools and, in I do feel that making broad-reachingthe run up to moving quarter, were not able to sup- recommendations from such a small-scale study, albeitport their children at school due to the sheer energy in-depth and at doctoral level, is not possible.involved in moving house. Mobility was also seen to However, I feel that there are things that I hope thataffect the delivery of the curriculum in schools and the service parents can learn from this. I would urge allway that schools in highly mobile areas were funded. parents to ask for further clarification of the syllabusI felt that mobility had a particular impact on the de- and curriculum requirements from schools so that youvelopment of a child’s literacy skills since other re- can help your child to work out what they have alreadysearch has indicated that literacy and self-esteem covered and what they may need additional supportissues are inter-linked. with before you move to another posting. When you know you are going to move, let your child’s school know as soon as possible and start thinking about aThe third theory to emerge from this research, as I new school. Ask around but also find out from otherhave indicated above, was that there was a clash of sources about education in your new posting area.cultures between the Army and schools. The world of Ofsted, for example, has an excellent website whichthe Army, involving its own particular brand of can help you to make choices. At every stage of alanguage and traditions, was misunderstood by move, involve your child – talk to them about whereschools and, as such, the lifestyle of the Army children you’re going to go, involve them in the decision aboutwas not fully appreciated by teachers. Fourthly, the what school to go to next. Finally, find out how you,culture of the home was seen to have a particular or your partner, can get involved in school life becauseeffect on the educational experiences of Army children it’s only through informal links like this that schoolsas these children had to negotiate mobility, the might understand the service lifestyle a bit more and,exigencies of Army life and the absence of their in doing so, be able to support your children a bitparents. Finally, bringing together all of these better.theories, I felt that neither the Army nor schools reallyunderstood the experiences of education of Armychildren. As a result, I felt that these children were Dr Grace Clifton, The Open University, SCSNexpected to integrate into local schools rather than Academic and Research Advisor.being actively included in them. (Previously published in Envoy in March 2011).
  20. 20. The sessions were built around a series of 4 task workshops where discussions were lively and it was wonderful to see such a range of people and views represented, from Deputy Headteachers and other school staff, Nursery School staff, LA support staff and a representative from the Army Families Federation.SCSN TrainingIn SuffolkFebruary saw Joy and Kev O’Neill take an SCSNpresentation on the road to Suffolk and theConference Centre at King Edward VI School, Bury StEdmunds proved to be an excellent venue.This was to be the first of 2 days of trainingrequested by Suffolk County Council and drewdelegates from across the county. It was interestingthat the group actually contained a very highpercentage of people with a close serviceconnection, be that as a spouse, or as a former We found it fascinating to hear about the specificservice child themselves. It was also interesting that issues facing Army and RAF families in the East ofso many delegates were from an Early Years England and the work currently going on in thebackground which allowed us to explore the issues county such as the pilot project that is being run tofrom a less traditional perspective. support the children of deployed Service parents by the Community Interest Company ‘Our Little Heroes’. We are looking forward to returning to Suffolk in September for our second day of training. Details will be published nearer the date on the SCSN website and the Suffolk County Council CPD webpages. For more information on the September training or to book a place please email us on contact@servicechildrensupportnetwork.comWith particular focus on Transitions and Mobility,together with Operational Deployments and theirimpacts on Service children and their families, theday went very well. The audience were veryreceptive and keen to get as much as possible fromthe event. They were open to new ideas and verywilling to share their own experiences with theirfellow delegates. At times it was hard to get a wordin!
  21. 21. Death is a fact of life, but for the families of those implications for support organisations. Theseserving in the Armed Forces, especially during features include:periods of conflict, there is a greater awareness of Ÿ The impact of deployment on the family pri-death as a distinct possibility. For some families, or to the death.this possibility is, sadly and tragically, turned into a Ÿ The nature of the death.reality, and they then have to cope with all aspects Ÿ Who has died and who has been left behind.of the radically altered circumstances into which Ÿ Media coverage of the events.they have been plunged. During the past decade, Ÿ Military culture and personal identity, andmany military and civilian organisations have been Ÿ Additional losses and changes.created, or have extended their services, tocontribute to meeting the needs of bereaved Not all of these features apply in the case of allmilitary families. One such service, Forces Support bereaved military families, and their impact is(, a charity further mediated by the specific circumstances thatproviding practical support to families bereaved as a surround each individual family.result of a military death, commissioned us to Whilst other countries, including the US, haveundertake a literature review of the needs of those identified inadequate support to the bereavedbereaved through military death, and a scoping family members as a key issue, there have beenstudy of how UK military and civilian support significant improvements in the way the UK Armedorganisations were responding to these. This article Forces have coordinated and managed theirsummarises our findings. response to the notification of a death, and to repatriation. The UK response to families bereavedA search of the literature identified a paucity of through military death has also been substantiallyresearch on the topic of the bereavement needs and enhanced over recent years with an increasingexperiences of those in armed forces. The bulk of number of military and civilian organisationsthe literature came primarily from either the USA or offering support. Types of support include:Israel, with British contributions being in theminority. However, this is beginning to be redressed Ÿ Advocacy work - mediating families’ experi-by several new reports, commissioned by ence with the MOD or the coronial system,organisations such as the Royal British Legion and lobbying and influencing policy.the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children’s Fund, Ÿ Emotional support – including friendship,that draw upon the experience of UK bereaved support, and counselling.military families. Ÿ Infrastructure support – one organisation supporting the work of another.The literature and the experience of support Ÿ Training and guiding the staff of other or-organisations suggest that many of the bereavement ganisations (in military culture, for bereave-needs of military families are similar to those of the ment services, and in bereavement, forcivilian bereaved population. However, military organisations), andbereavement as a result of a military death is likely Ÿ Practical support including:to take on a different shape as a result of key ○ Helping people make decisions andfeatures specific to the military context. It is these choices.that appear to have an impact on the experience of ○ Offering ‘special’ activities that arethe death and its aftermath, and add significant not part of the usual run of day-to-complexity to the experience of families, and have day life, or
  22. 22. ○ Undertaking practical activities thatScotland a few months after John started primary relate to the smooth running or school in England. Due to the different age and en- everyday life. try requirements in Scotland, John effectively had toThis latter is a minority activity amongst go back a year and return to a nursery class.organisational providers. Although John had started to learn to read in his primary school in England, his new nursery schoolOrganisations face a number of challenges in would not support this and Sally had to help John toproviding support including: agreeing the criteria for continue with his reading at home as best as shewho is eligible for their service provision, could. The different age and entry requirements inunderstanding the military culture, the complexity Scotland are just one of three main differences be-of the needs of military families, the experience of tween the Scottish and English education systems.staff; and access and timing of the support. Although these differences may cause difficulties forFortunately, there are very few deaths each year of some, there are many positive points about themembers of the UK Armed Forces although each Scottish education system which could benefitone is a tragedy for the family and friends. service children.However, there is a lack of information thatidentifies the number and status of those who are Age and entry requirementsbereaved, in terms of the relationship to thedeceased. This makes it difficult for organisations to In Scotland, children start primary school betweenplan their provision as the potential ‘demand’ is the ages of four and a half and five and a half.uncertain. A full copy of the report is available on Unlike England, where entry is open to childrenthe Forces Support website whose fifth birthday falls within the academic year (calculated from 1 September), in Scotland, entry is calculated from March. In other words, if your childDr Liz Rolls is ‘young’ for their year in England, it is highly likelyHonorary Research Fellow, University of that they would not be offered a place at school inGloucestershire, Honorary Research Fellow, Scotland. If your child has not already startedLancaster University, Independent Researcher: school, they may well profit from this additionalPegasus Projects. time in a more informal and flexible setting.And Dr Gillian Chowns, Co-director, Palliative Care However, for children already in formal education inWorks, Visiting Fellow, University of Southampton. England, being required to go back to nursery, like John, might be a very difficult experience. Given that the entry requirements for all children at schools in Scotland are standard, this issue may also present itself to service parents with a child returning to schools in England. Curriculum differences Unlike schools in England, schools in Scotland do not follow a set national curriculum. The Scottish curriculum, called Curriculum for Excellence, is re- nowned for the way that it celebrates breadth Education in Scotland across a range of subjects. It aims to develop four key areas within each child – the successful learner, Benefits and Pitfalls… the confident individual, the responsible citizen and the effective contributor. As children in Scotland doCan you remember your child’s first day at school? not sit national examinations until they reach theFor most of us, it is a time of celebration and some- end of their time in senior school, children’sthing that we prepare our child for for several progress through the Curriculum for Excellence is as-months. Now consider Sally (names changed) and sessed on an individual basis so that they can moveher son, John. Sally’s husband was posted up to through the various levels at their own pace.
  23. 23. For a service parent moving to Scotland, the Learning and Teaching Scotland (agency set up tocurriculum differences might be viewed as a huge support education in Scotland which providesbenefit as Scotland’s education system is highly further information about curriculum andthought of throughout the world (OECD, 2007). In approaches to teaching and learning in Scotland)order to make sure that your child is able to profit this different approach to education, make HMI Education Scotland (library of inspectionsure that you take as much information as you can reports for all schools in Scotland which will allowto your child’s new school about the sort of things you find out more about your child’s new school)that your child has already studied. In this way, child’s new school will be able to quickly assesswhat they have done and where they can help your The Royal Caledonian Schools Trust to build on that learning. Dr Grace Clifton, The Open University, SCSN Academic and Research Advisor.Special NeedsThe Scottish education system recognises that all (This article was previously published in Armylearners will, at some point in their time at school, Families’ Journal in March 2011 and Envoyrequire additional support in order to help them to Magazine in July 2011).achieve to their full potential. As a result, eachchild’s need for additional support is assessedregularly and parents are entitled to ask for anassessment if they feel that their child’s needs arenot being met in the classroom. Children movingbetween any local authority within the UnitedKingdom are likely to experience some degree ofdifficulty getting their needs re-assessed andrecognised by a new education authority – and thisis the case whether your child’s new school is inScotland or in England. If your child has specialeducational needs, it is advisable to get in touchwith your child’s new school as early as possible todiscuss your child’s support needs and gather to-gether as much documentation as you can regardingthe particular issues that your child has. Be awarethat there is likely to be a period of re-assessmentwhen your child starts at their new school.Although this might be annoying for you and yourchild, it does, at least, mean that your child’s needswill be correctly met. A new book, "Service Children: A Guide for Education and Welfare Professionals" has beenThe Royal Caledonian Schools Trust (also known as launched with the specific aim of helping fellowThe Caley) is helping to bring practitioners in professionals understand the issues that ServiceScotland together in order to improve the families and their children face. It discusses Mobilityexperiences of education of service children. At a and Transition, Parental Deployment on Militaryrecent conference organised by The Caley Operations, Continuity of Education and a number(Dunblane, November, 2010) representatives of of other significant issues that they are likely tolocal authorities, service agencies and education encounter when working with Service children.professionals met to discuss issues specific to Supported by research and case studies, it describesScotland. As a result, various education issues have examples of best practice, offers practical advicebeen identified and work is being done to help to and outlines strategies that have been shown to beaddress them. effective when working in this field. The book isFurther advice and information can be found on the available for £13.95 (plus p&p) from the SCSNfollowing websites: website.
  24. 24. Start and a number of other public and charitable services. Organisations with very different cultures have worked together towards the shared goal of better outcomes for families and children. The emphasis has been on achieving self-sufficiency, with active parental involvement, so that the work can be sustained over the longer term. The issues identified The Barracks are home to 60-70 children aged under 5, and the facilities on the base are also available toAlbemarle Barracks, other service families living in Newcastle. Prior to the project there was no dedicated space forNorthumberland families with young children available on the camp and services were patchy and disconnected.Meeting the needs of Family life with young children in the military can be problematic, because:military families withyoung children • The lifestyle is transient, often disrupted and sometimes stressful.Working in effective partnership is likely to grow in • The lack of support from wider familyimportance as we confront the challenge of networks.delivering more responsive and customer-focused • Jobs and services are hard to in a context of severely constrained public • Providing responsive, joined-up and cost-resources. These case studies have been developed effective support services can be order to showcase helpful North East examples of • Families at Albemarle Barracks areworking partnerships and, in particular, to draw out geographically and socially isolated.lessons about the importance of nurturing the rightcultures, attitudes and behaviours. • Other families living outside the camp mayIn a nutshell also be very isolated.This case study describes how partners in • There are many young mothers needingNorthumberland have come together to improve lots of support.the wellbeing of families with young children living Families at Albemarle Barracks are geographicallyat the Albemarle Barracks – an isolated military and socially isolated. Other families living outsidecamp. A multi-agency steering group, led by the camp may also be very isolated. There are manyPrudhoe Children’s entre, oversees the young mothers needing lots of support.project.Working with the military welfare service The approachand other partners, families with young children at Some families from the base were accessing thethe base have been able to access a range ofrelevant services and a thriving Mini Mess. Children’s Centre at Prudhoe. Links were then established between Sure Start, the Unit WelfareTeam at the camp and the Primary CareThe Mini Mess provides a large brightly decorated Trust. These organisations recognised the need toroom stocked with childrens play equipment. Play respond more effectively to meet the aspirations ofsessions, health visitor sessions and learning the families living at Albemarle.activities (for parents as well as children) take placehere. This is a rare example of a Children’s Centre The local authority,Ministry of Defence, healthoutreach post being established on a military base. service, local schools and charitable organisationsMany Sure Start partnerships have developed came together to agree common goal, andcreative ways of serving their target audiences, but undertook to work together to achieve it. Theythis is an interesting example of collaboration formed a partnership and established a steeringbetween the military authorities, the local Sure group to oversee their work.
  25. 25. The partners have pooled resources – including gratifying, and the resourcefulness of the militaryknowledge, funds, skills and staff. Parents have has been a positive contributory factor. The projectbeen encouraged to influence decisions about all has helped provide a focus, and to make the campaspects of service development and delivery. The into a socially cohesive community.facilities are provided free of charge. A Service LevelAgreement has been signed detailing arrangements A range of new services have been provided:for shared use of the building. Service delivery costs Ÿ Weekly play and stay session.are currently being met by Prudhoe Children’s Ÿ Monthly toy library.Centre and the Primary Care Trust. Ÿ Adapt CommunityTransport (part funded byThe partnership Prudhoe Children’s Centre) providingThe project comprises a central core of partners, outings and a ‘wheels to work’ project,with wider partners joining in the steering group. including scooter loans and driving lessonsThe project is managed by Prudhoe Children’s to access work opportunities.Centre and overseen on a day-to-day basis by theUnit Welfare Team. Ÿ Programme of Greenstart activities throughThe core partners are: ‘Growing for Play’ funding. • Prudhoe Children’s Centre – led by the Ÿ Family SupportTeam undertaking one to Centre Coordinator and Locality Manager. one work with families. • Unit Welfare Officer and Team at the Ÿ Courses for parents, e.g. Baby Save a Life. Barracks. Ÿ Childcare/crèche. • Primary CareTrust – represented by the Ÿ Involvement in army decompression days. Health Visitor Manager responsible for Health Visitors and Community Nursery Ÿ Referral to specialist services, e.g. Domestic Nurses. Violence Support Group. • Families living at the Barracks. Ÿ Family learning courses.Other supporting partners are: Ÿ Parenting courses. • ArmyWelfare Service. Next steps • Greenstart – a local environmental project The partners are committed to the on-going review • Ponteland Extended Services and Parent and evaluation of services in order to ensure that Support Partner. they continue to make a positive difference. The army is very supportive of the project, but funding • Educational Psychology Service. remains an issue. In particular, the Sure Start budget • Library Services. is being cut. It is the intention to be creative and to • Family Learning Services. pursue other ways of ensuring the project’s • Northumberland Toy Library. sustainability. The partners are sure that they have • Children’s Centres in Newcastle. developed a robust model of good practice and theyAchievements are keen to share their experience to support thePrior to the Mini Mess there was limited provision development of Children’s Centre services on otherfor families with young children. Issues of concern military bases. Building on the lessons learnedto families that were not previously recognised are through the Mini Mess project, the partners willnow being addressed. Mini Mess is a thriving facility support the Unit Welfare Team in establishing awhich is highly valued and heavily used by the steering group to oversee the developmentfamilies living at the camp. Independent evaluations of services for older children and young people.have shown that parents find the new services Contact for the projectinvaluable. Parents report that their children are Jackie McCormick, Sure Start Children’s Centremore confident, socialise better with other children,have enjoyed the new experiences and are better Locality Manager –West Northumberlandprepared for nursery school. The achievements have Northumberland County Council.exceeded the initial expectations. The support and 07785 721298active participation of local families has been
  26. 26. that support. Camo Day is an ideal opportunity for children to ditch their school uniform for a military uniform, cam up their faces or simply wear red, navy or airforce blue clothing or accessories, in aid of a fabulous Armed Forces charity”. Last year, several schools held Camo Days by organising Armed Forces Day themed events during the school day, or mini assault courses in the playground, challenging the bravest teachers to takeSSAFA Forces Help them on, and this year, SSAFA’s fundraising target for Camo Day is 100k, and any pupil taking part willLaunch Camo Day be given a special Camo Day wristband as a thank you.Camo Day is a new fundraising initiative aimed at allUK schools, in support of SSAFA Forces Help - the Julia added “Service children can have a veryUKs oldest Armed Forces charity. SSAFA provide different experience at school to civilian children,practical help and assistance to anyone who is and Camo Day is an opportunity to highlight howcurrently serving or has ever served, even if it was their lives can be challenging as well as the chanceonly for a single day, supporting more than 50,000 to raise valuable funds to make sure that SSAFA can continue to care for the children and young peoplepeople each year in the Armed Forces community, we support via our holidays, and Support Groups.including children and young people. We would be grateful to any education professional, parent or anyone else who was able to encourageCamo Day is a nationwide non-uniform day to be schools to join in Camo Day or any Head Teachersheld on 29th June, which is the day before Armed who agree to join – more information is availableForces Day 2012. All UK schools have been asked to here in with Camo Day to show their support to our events/camo-day/ including a downloadableArmed Forces and their families. resource pack and details of how to register”Julia Clark, Head of Regional Fundraising at SSAFA Julia welcomes any comments or enquiriessaid “We know that children and young people care regarding Camo Day and can be contacted onvery much about our Armed Forces and we wanted 07748 give a public platform to them to demonstrate 29 June 2012 Join In!