HELLO THERE!

HELLO THERE!
WELCOME TO ALL FELLOW CAMPAIGNERS for DISABILITY RIGHTS - a pan disability blog connecting my work with, EQUAL LIVES, the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) and the Survivor History Group.
--- HEDDWCH

Protest, Norwich Job Centre

Protest, Norwich Job Centre
Fatso Gets Militant!

Monday, 18 June 2012

The New Revelation in Child Care.

There are “serious weaknesses” in the child care system, the MPs announced this morning. They have noticed that taking a child into care and placing that child in a care home across the other side of the country is cause for concern.

HAH!

In 1968 - I made my first move into social work with a job as a ‘trainee child care worker’ at ‘Gwynfa Residential Clinic for Emotionally Disturbed Children’ in Colwyn Bay, north Wales. The Clinic accepted children of age range 4 to 16 years from all parts of the UK. The Clinic was not a private concern but was run partially by the North Wales Child Guidance Service and the North Wales hospital Denbigh (a psychiatric hospital). The senior staff in charge were Registered Mental Nurse qualified.

One of the first things that struck me when I started the job was that one major reason the children were ‘emotionally disturbed’ was that they were away from home and in many cases, more than a hundred miles away from home - isolated, forcibly separated from their parent(s) and removed from their local friends.

The issue became a regularly expressed one throughout my 22 month stay at Gwynfa (I had quickly gained a ‘bad’ reputation as a rebel anyway for openly opposing some of the methods) and quite a few of the other staff ‘trainees’ talked about these things amongst each other in the privacy of the rest room - something I found to be a regular feature of my career in social work.

I went to college to train as a social worker in 1970. Entering that world I absorbed experiences via placements in what were then called ‘community homes’ (local authority children’s residential homes). Children being placed away from their own homes was regular ‘cause for concern’ then, as it was in the professional associations, including the residential workers’ association of the day. It was, in fact, a perennial item in reports about the standards of child care by those associations.

At Gwynfa we were constantly reporting that children had absconded (sometimes chasing them through the woods which surrounded the Clinic - they made a good game of it). Most weren’t seen absconding and would end up in a police station in Chester or Wrexham or even Manchester. We would then have to go and pick them up.

I also remember when later I worked as a qualified social worker in Clwyd’s Colwyn Bay office, many of the out-of-hours standby duties would involve a trip to collect a child who had absconded from a Clwyd home.

Yes, for many years it has been recognised and expressed by child care professionals that placing a child away from his/her home area is bad practice.

The Waterhouse Public Inquiry into child abuse in north Wales commented about children being exposed to child abuse when absconding. They should have taken notice then from the Inquiry report but it takes a lurid media expose now for them,the MPs to find out it is a “serious weakness” in the child care system. It must in some way be convenient for them!

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Bweebideebobbida

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The Tough Tenor (when I could walk)!

In a Mellotone

In a Mellotone
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