Our approach to care is based on the principles of social pedagogy. This quote by our acting team manager, Dr Suzanne Turner-Jones, summarises how we provide support to the vulnerable children and young people placed in our care and help them to transfer their lives and achieve their full potentials:
We continue to make sure we provide a safe, warm and caring chance for children who need someone to step in and offer help at a time of need; to reach out to them and help them to reach for their dreams. We pride ourselves not in providing children’s homes but in developing a sense of home and family where children can rely on a nurturing response from relevant others. We strive to make sure that each child is treated as a valued individual and that their unique strengths, skills and interests are harnessed in ways that make sure they blossom into adulthood with a sense of can-do, will-do as well as enduring faith, trust and hope in their own abilities to thrive.
What is Social Pedagogy?
'Pedagogy' literally translates to education and social refers to the emphasis on bringing up a child in a holistic environment where education, care and society are intertwined. At Barnardo's we offer additional benefits for child development such as being part of the Barnardo's network, encouragement to develop interests and skills and move towards a future that is individually suited to each and every child placed with us.
Wendy Maddon talking about our approach in practice
Wendy Maddon, talking about our approach to care at one of our specialist children's care homes.
By adopting this framework, we can use the following tools and interventions to work with the children and young people referred to our services:
- A person centred and holistic approach to Care Planning, risk assessments and care delivery.
- Ensure they are consulted on their Care Plans and that their wishes are reflected in the Plans. The emphasis is always upon treating the child or young person as an individual and meeting his or her needs.
- Ensure they have opportunities to learn from routine activities, i.e. meal times, shopping, conversations, as well as leisure activities, sports, social events, group working and projects.
- Individual activities programme based on the young person's interests and hobbies.
- Individual Behaviour management programme that promotes positive behaviour development.
- Encourage time to think, to question and to be creative.
- Encourage feelings and views to be expressed through play, drama, music, dance and art as well as through verbal communication.
- Encourage active participation during play.
- Recognise and celebrate individual achievements and their contribution in completing tasks and/ or activities.
- Support friendship building and the forming of new relationships.
- Support and encourage positive risk-taking appropriate to their age and development.
- Work in partnership to enable children and young people to achieve their full potential. We achieve this by building on identified skills and abilities that they already have. E.g., a child who has recently learnt to ride a bike could be supported (if he or she wished) to learn to safely cycle outdoors.
- Work in partnership to ensure continuity of care.
- Regularly engage in reflective practice to enable individuals and the team to learn from experience; to understand the impact that individual personalities have on child care practice; to foster a learning environment for our practioners all to ultimately improve their outcomes.