Compassionate Activism

June 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Book Flier


Child care and direct provision accommodation

June 25, 2012 at 8:01 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In all the fallout and response to the Report into Child Deaths there was a failure to recognise one of the most visible instances of institutional child neglect and abuse in Ireland – our direct provision accommodation system. This system has many echoes of the system described in the Ryan Report. Children are confined with their families and other families and adults in over-crowded, inappropriate long-term accommodation with inadequate supports. The mental health consequences are well documented. This is happening in plain sight, right in front of us and yet it barely merits a reference in public debate. Dealing with this issue would be one measure of our commitment to genuine childcare. See the Report by FLAC as one insightful reference on this issue:


Child care deaths – need for a new model

June 21, 2012 at 7:45 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Yesterday’s Report points to huge deficiencies in our child care system. These are occurring both within the care system itself and, even more so, in our after-care system. A new model is needed. This should be based on values that first, place the vulnerable child first and their voice as central and secondly, centralize a dialogic practice as the key underpinning values and methodology of a new system. What would this look like? Here is an outline:

  1. A quick identification and investigation of issues – once a call / referral is made there should be an immediate response. Early intervention prior to crisis is critical.
  2. This response should centre on hearing the children’s voice using age-appropriate approaches.
  3. An open dialogue meeting should be rapidly convened, the rapidity dependent on the gravity of the identified issues. This would include the children (or independent advocates on their behalf), the family network and the inter-agency professional network.
  4. This meeting should have as its outcome a care plan owned by all the participants, i.e. the professional and family networks.
  5. There should be regular further open dialogue or anticipation dialogue meetings to review and monitor progress.
  6. In the case of an older child open dialogue meetings should occur to prepare for after-care support. Again a care plan should be produced by this process owned by all participants.

This model centres on early and immediate intervention; open dialogue; joint and equal participation by relevant professionals and the family network; and centralizing the voice of the child. Each of these stages can be modeled in terms of time targets, proper reporting and process, and measurement of outcome.

(cf. Compassionate Activism: An Exploration of Integral Social Care for a deeper treatment of the ideas and methods underlying this dialogic model).

Child Death Report Executive Summary

June 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Below is the Executive Summary of today’s Report into Child Deaths. This is another shocking indictment of the system of care in Ireland and exposes our on-going failure to truly be child-centred.

Child Death Review Exec Summary

Sustainable Education Treaty

June 10, 2012 at 8:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unfortunately, we are now increasingly in a zero-sum reality. Something has to change. Is it to be ‘Business as usual’ or the climate? So far, we’re choosing climate change. We need to change ‘business as usual’.

This link is to a proposed civil society global treaty on sustainable education. It’s part of a broader and deeper process of engagement to coincide with Rio + 20. Changing education fundamentally is one part of what we need to do.


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