Learning from positive historical child care practice

Hawthorn, Moira (2020) Learning from positive historical child care practice. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 19 (1). ISSN 1478-1840

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Much current media reporting of historical residential childcare provision focuses on abusive practices and child care systems which failed to protect children and young people. There are, however, other narrative lines woven through 'abuse enquiries' and the accounts of individuals, which receive less attention. These are instances and accounts of exemplary practice, of residential care practitioners committed to ensuring that children and young people were nurtured, loved, and well prepared for adulthood. In this article, I will explore some of these kinds of memories, of adults who spent a significant part of their childhood in residential care, which were shared with me, as part of my Doctoral studies on historical institutional child abuse. I will consider the barriers to delivering such child-centred practice in current residential care provision and conclude by asking that we hold in mind in our daily practice making tomorrow's memories for the children in our care today.

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