by Simon Johr and Veronica Eva Perez
From 2012 to 2015 social pedagogues from different parts of Europe worked in the United Kingdom as part of the Head, Heart, Hands programme (HHH). The programme aimed to demonstrate how introducing social pedagogy into foster care could have a positive impact on fostering services. At the end of the programme the thirteen social pedagogues reflected on their experience. The group decided to capture their learnings in writing for a wider audience, with the aim of identifying areas of improvement and reinforcing current practices for enhancing the quality of care in the UK, and ultimately to contribute to the understanding of how social pedagogy could be integrated within the social care field in the British context. The results of this effort are two academic papers each looking at different aspects of the programme and its background. These articles provide practical examples from participants, explore the shared learning by looking at the impact it had on foster carers and children in care. They touch upon organisational aspects and the management of fostering services. They further examine the different cultural backgrounds in childcare of social work and social pedagogy, reflect upon similarities and differences as well as the levels of professionalisation in both traditions. Finally, the articles outline the findings that could support the merging of the two ways of practicing which proved to be possible through the programme, including the dilemmas the social pedagogues encountered during their journey.
by Helen Chambers, and Prof Pat Pertrie
Play and creative activities can help foster carers build warm and caring relationships with looked after children and young people. Looking after other people’s children can sound ordinary but foster carers need to be very creative to engage with and build relationships with looked after children and young people.
by Klaus Wolf, University of Siegen
The way in which foster children grow up and develop is a subject dealt with by various disciplines with widely varying epistemological positions and research methods. In many countries, there are well-developed, well-established clinical research methods based on medical and psychiatric paradigms. This article on social pedagogical research into foster children will present a different research programme developed over the past ten years by the University of Siegen’s Foster Care Research Group. While this will by no means replace clinical research, it will add another perspective to the interdisciplinary professional discussion.
by Jenny Young and Eleanor Mooney
Loud and Clear was a project to support the musical development of Looked After Children and carers and to support the personal, social and emotional development of the children and their relationships with others.