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).

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