e-Safety for kids – 6 ideas to start you off…

Now, I’m no I.T. expert. But I have two kids who love their screens. So I’ve tried to do a few things to ensure they’re safe online…

Child on laptop

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/stacey_newman

The news this week has featured the Dark Internet.  A place that’s hard to trace which hides behaviour that’s impossible to justify.

People who hide are generally not to be trusted. So how do we keep our kids safe from those who may seek to hurt them online?

Simple steps to help protect young people online…

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Why finger-wagging doesn’t work…

Worse than our shame at doing something wrong, is the knowledge that someone we care about is unhappy with us.

Parent telling off a child...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/_Ella_

This is the case with young people too. They know full well that they’ve done something they shouldn’t have.

But they also know that we, and others, are unhappy about it.

Why our unhappiness is crucial (& dangerous)…

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The master key – unlocking troubled young people…

I’ll never forget my very first case as a youth justice social worker.

Image - key...

Photo courtesy of ©iStoclphoto/Darkcyde

My boss called me in, gave me the lad’s name and said I’d be taking over the case from a colleague.

I left his office feeling elated. Fresh out of college, I finally had my first young person to work with.

What struck me even more was when I told my colleagues in the team room which young person it was – they all laughed!

20 plus years later I know why. Others had tried with this lad. Now it was my turn!

The key to unlocking those tough cases…

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Kinship carers: unsung heroes of child care…

Grandparent carer...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/lammeyer

In our last post on foster care, we lifted the lid on those who open their lives to other people’s children.

We also explored the nature of the sacrifice required from carers.

Many of the comments after the piece were from kinship carers – essentially those who foster children from their own extended family.

This got me thinking about the differences between foster care and kinship care. So I did some digging around. The results of this enquiry had me shocked…

Why kinship carers are heroes!…

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Putting attachment theory to work…

Book review...

Clarks book

Photo courtesy of ©Pavilion Publishing

Great for working with TEENAGERS

Attachment-Based Practice with Adults: Understanding Strategies and Promoting Positive Change, Pavilion Publishing, Brighton, UK. ISBN-13: 978-1908066176

In recent years I’ve come to really appreciate what attachment theory has to offer. And I find it fascinating!

But theories by themselves don’t offer much. Particularly to those of us involved in direct work with troubled people.

We know that these folks have a messed up development. And we know that attachment is a huge part of it.

But one nagging question just won’t go away:

How do I practice in an attachment-based way?

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Domestic abuse – the impact on children…

Domestic violence scene...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/ejwhite

Home is supposed to be a safe place. A refuge from the challenges of life.

But for some children, it’s the opposite. It’s a place of threat. Of danger.

NICE, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, has recently published it’s guidance for services working with domestic violence and abuse.  But what about those of us working directly with young people and their families?

We need to know what we’re looking for if we’re going to protect children effectively.

What exactly are the impacts on children?

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Calling a spade, a “spade”…

Why language about “pornography” matters…

Keyboard "porn" key...

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/sndr

Public concern about “child pornography” is growing.

In the last 12 months there has been a 40% rise in the number of reports made to the Internet Watch Foundation about potentially illegal content on the internet.

Staff at the IWF attribute this to increased public concern about the issue following recent high profile cases.

Both Tia Sharp and April Jones‘ killers are known to have accessed child abuse images online before the murders of the two young girls.

Why online pornography matters…

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Sexting 2

What can we do to about it?...

Sexting – sending explicit pictures and messages to others – is rife among young people. The consequences are stark, long-lasting and costly on all kinds of levels.

Unsure? Check out my first post on this subject – Sexting: why it’s not sexy…

Sexting - James Brey iStock_000020990475XSmall (2)

Photo courtesy of iStockphoto/JamesBrey

The bottom line is this: once a picture is taken and sent, you can never take it back. Ever. It’s gone.

All control over it is lost. Who sees it. Whom they send it on to. Which websites it gets posted on. None of this can be controlled.

So what can be done?…

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Engaging teens – 8 Quick Tips…

Gang Of Teenagers Hanging Out

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/MachineHeadz

Someone asked me how old I was the other day. “48” I replied and then immediately questioned my own answer.

48? Really? It seemed far too big a number! It’s a while since I was a teenager, obviously.

For many, that distance is debilitating. They encounter teenagers and feel paralysed about how to respond or interact, even fearful. I guess we all fear what we don’t understand

It can feel all the more tricky to break the ice with very troubled young people, who are already struggling to trust adults, particularly professionals…

So, remember…

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Adoption

5 tips for the curious...

Boy Needs Family - iStock_000012148896XSmall

Photo courtesy ©iStockphoto/stacey_newman

16 years ago, I took part in my first adoption.

It was a nerve-wracking process. First time experiences usually are!

This wasn’t one of my usual fads. A new hobby that I would pursue vigorously for a few months before moving onto something else. This was much more important. This would be a new life entering our family!

But this was different…

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Why licking frogs is good for you…

This is one of my all time favourite photos – I love it!

Girl licks frog - porject wild thing

Photo courtesy ©Project Wild Thing

 

Project Wild Thing…

I came across it online at the Project Wild Thing (PWT) website. PWT is a film in the making. It will examine the fact that children and nature are growing apart.

The array of instant gratification gadgets and easy entertainments available to kids these days means they go outside less often. The project aims to halt this trend by encouraging children, young people and adults alike into the great outdoors.

Troubled kids & tired workers…

We all know that working with troubled young people is hard graft. It can be disheartening, draining and difficult. Keeping going can be a real challenge.

Many of the young people we work with have never had someone to properly explore and thrill in the great outdoors with them. May be it’s time to do some of this together. To break free of the interview room, the therapy suite, the YOS or social services office and venture outside…

Licking frogs?…

This is obviously euphemistic. I haven’t actually licked a frog – yet! But here’s what comes to mind for me:

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What everyone should know about childhood brain injury…

Acquired brain injury (ABI)…

Bandaged brain - iStock_000011517001XSmall

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/DebbiSmirnoff

“In one moment, every year, approximately 50,000 children and young people’s lives will change forever. They will acquire a brain injury through an accident, illness/tumour or poisoning. It is not their fault and they do not expect it to happen.”

Lisa Turan – Chief Executive, Child Brain Injury Trust

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