- learn about the conceptual framework Hodges' model. A tool that can help integrate HEALTH and SOCIAL CARE, INFORMATICS and EDUCATION. The model is situated, facilitates person-centredness, integrated - holistic care and reflective practice. A new site using Drupal is an ongoing aim - the creation of a reflective workbench. Email: h2cmng @ yahoo.co.uk Welcome

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Child well-being, Silver Superdreams, DEEP care and DEEPer voices

On the website there's a small page that highlights DEEP things...

That is DEEP ECOLOGY, DEEP TIME, DEEP SPACE and of course DEEP CARE. These days it seems everything is DEEP. So it isn't noise that's damaging your ear drums it's pressure.

When I wrote that page deep care was left to fend for itself (there's a books worth there I bet); but then I remembered a day as a student...

In those days I had a silver Honda 250 Superdream: hey don't laugh - I'd swear that bike had a built in gyro (except for the time I dropped it in the snow). The bike not only helped me with the a2b; on community experience I had to spend a day at a children's home...

The day started at 2pm working through to 9-10pm. Many of the kids were not yet home from school. So I was able to chat with the house-mothers as the two female staff members were called and I do remember their names. This was a quiet interlude before the chaos ensued. It was spring and the 'instructions' were - when the children are home, join-in outside while tea is prepared.

Well, arrive they did and there I was in this big garden playing football and inevitable rough and tumble with the lads. While all this was going on I could see the house-mothers at the window watching. Watching a bit more. Then not just watching: staring. Was I doing something wrong (and who was cooking tea)?

Anyway, a bell announced tea time to be followed with more antics outside then some indoor games and then time for bed. Stories first of course. I was asked to take a youngster upstairs and settle him down. He couldn't have been more than 5. On my shoulders up the stairs. A brief flight through the air along a carefully judged flight-path suddenly filled with giggles to find the book...

As I started to read one of the house-mothers came in and started to tidy the room and I suppose keep an eye on me. I like reading. As I read that feeling returned - being watched just like in the garden. This time it was a pair of very young eyes doing the staring, with an open-mouthed intensity that was dry-mouth disturbing. Next, I noticed the house-mother had stopped what she was doing to watch and listen. OK: What was going on? We reached a point were the book closed and it was time for lights out and prayers.

Then I was asked for a kiss.

It wasn't that I was upset or anything, but it was the way this little guy asked.

Now I know there are all sorts of considerations these days, equality and diversity, sex and gender roles. This WAS ALL about equality and diversity and something wasn't right.

I responded with that student-male awkwardness that I wasn't about to kiss him, but it would be great to shake his hand and say thanks for everything - the soccer, chocs, drawings, thumbs up for the bike....

So, phew - lights out upstairs - it was time for twenty questions downstairs.

As the home got quieter by the second, the questions were well-formed, but had to wait as I joined the two house mothers sitting at the kitchen table for tea/coffee. Straight away they guessed my star-sign: Aquarius. OK... Then they apologised for staring earlier. I acknowledged that this hadn't gone unnoticed. They explained how pleased and totally fascinated they were to see the young boys able to interact in ways that they - try as they might - just cannot manage. The house-mothers usually read the stories and while I'm no bass-baritone, my voice - a lone male voice - had really struck a cord.

Unfortunately, back then there were issues about recruiting male staff members. I passed on those same concerns and my experience to the school of nursing. The house-mothers agreed that as a consequence there were potential future mental health issues being incubated there - the clients of tomorrow. They were trying to bring about change themselves.

That day will stay with me - I hope. As I rode home I knew it was a real gem in terms of learning experience. Scary, the notions of 'self' and 'others'. I wonder how things have changed in the homes and in society at large?

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