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Why must we let go of old paradigms in education when it comes to children in care

Children come into care for a variety of reasons, at the start of 2020, there were 78,150 children in care in England alone. Many, if not the majority, have all suffered some form of neglect or traumatic experiences pre-care. In many situations, parents not getting the support they needed was a significant factor in this but this, in many examples, is not recognised by the child. It becomes easy to personalise their experiences and conclude that they were not worthy of love, broken or were unwanted. It is no wonder that with such generalisations made at such an early age, any other adults who ‘intervene’ may be pushed away, untrusted or seen as a threat. After all, in some instances, in the child’s mind, the only adults who should have unconditionally loved them, didn’t want them. Understanding attachment theory is of paramount importance when working with these children during their education.

Caught in the Simulation: Consciously and Unconsciously  

Being in lockdown for a while, the way we interact with the world has changed for a lot of us but nonetheless is still a vital part of our functioning, whether we dread or enjoy it. Some days we may feel different when it comes to responding to WhatsApp’s and other days, we may feel like completely switching everything off and grounding ourselves or even not engaging in any activity at all. Mentally and/or physically.

Blind Recruitment – the Drive Forward way

No matter whether you work for the private, the public, or the third sector, the pandemic has forced all of us to get creative in order to achieve our goals, and for some of us, to simply survive. For Drive Forward it meant finding realistic, affordable, and effective ways to keep the young people we support as well our corporate partners engaged. Lucky for us, our partners have been at the forefront of showing passion and commitment, and driving innovation. 

In 2019 Drive Forward forged a partnership with Distilled. Having recently merged with Brainlabs, their recruitment team decided to start over and do things differently. 

Race, BLM and the care system

Politics, pandemics, protests. 2020 has been an eventful year. As the world came to terms with new threats and challenges posed by an infectious disease placing the livelihoods of many on standby and resulting in the tragic loss of life, we soon learned about the spread of another pre-existing societal disease that has had a somewhat similar effect.

#blackhistorymonth

Black History Month 2020

For us at Drive Forward, Black History Month 2020 is a chance to remember, to discover, and to learn. Our team has compiled a collection of biographic one-pagers, each representing parts of black history written across our capital and beyond. Some of the people we write about will be familiar to you and some might not, but all of them have a connection to one or more places in Britain.

Our aim is to unearth a lost, forgotten or hidden history about some of the black people who shaped this country and its people. Of course, one page won’t do anybody’s life justice. Thus, it’s up to you to take in the information and do your own digging into the many stimulating stories we’ve collected.

Let yourself be inspired by their achievements; be curious about their journeys; and be motivated to explore both historical and contemporary stories!

The Dive Forward Carnival

In the future, 2020 will not only be the year a global pandemic hit our planet, but it will also be known as the ‘year of cancellations’. Causing much disappointment in each Londoner, the Notting Hill Carnival was no exception.

So, in order to not miss out on the colourful celebrations of Art, Cuisine, Fashion and Music, we decided to run our own Covid-responsible Carnival at Drive Forward. The underlying idea was to highlight each of these four aspects of culture for the young people and staff to learn about and enjoy together.

Post Lockdown Party with Breakthrough

The last few months have been an interesting time for us all. We have all had to deal with change in some shape or form. For the young people on the Breakthrough programme, this has also been their experience but amplified due to their circumstances.

As we reflect on the uncertainties we have faced as adults during the coronavirus hysteria of 2020, we can only begin to imagine what it must have been like for a child of the state to grow up during this historical time.

Driving Innovation – Baringa Partners

In a previous blog we’ve talked about how our corporate partners are driving innovation during the pandemic. Since law firm Squire Patton Boggs pioneered taking the traditional work placement into the digital realm, another handful of our partners have followed suite.

Today, we’re talking to Caroline Theodore, Manager at Baringa Partners, a business and technology constancy.

Good Mental Health – not a luxury, but a right

Unfortunately, poor mental health is very common among the care-experienced population and can make life even more difficult for them. Things such as employment, personal care and wellbeing, or independent living are much harder to maintain when struggling with one’s mental health. There are already specialised services for care leavers such as housing officers and personal advisers, and it’s time we matched this provision with specialised mental health services too.

Currently, we are focusing on gaining more insight into the different experiences of care leavers and collecting their suggestions, ideas, and innovations to create a more comprehensive picture of what a well-functioning mental health service provision for care-experienced people would look like.

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