I went along to the London Care Services special educational needs (SEN) and children in care (CIC) Autumn conference last week and what a fantastic mix of speakers were there to address us.
The enigmatic Camila Batmanghelidjh founder and Director of ‘Kids Company’ captured my attention and creativity, with her impassioned presentation about the neuroscientific implications for the ‘abandoned child’. Camila calls for a paradigm shift (yes please….) articulating an overview of this necessary step-change, reminding us of the power of early attachment experiences and in how they can cause a form of brain injury. In particular, she promoted the need for re-parenting via a ‘salad bar’ approach that is a definite move away from ‘one size fits all’ (oh yes please!). As if that wasn’t enough inspiration, I was moved almost to tears by care experienced young adults who underscored the need for respectful recognition of the impact of nurture (or lack of) on our potentiality. Straight talking Annie Hutchison reminded us all that in spite of adversity, a little love goes a long way. Kali Perkins and Arthur Lea from the Deptford based ‘Heart and Soul’, sang their way into my heart with Kali’s self penned renditions. Luke Rodgers courageously revisited his 14 year old self and honoured us with sharing in aspects of his journey to becoming the compelling young man he is today.
Well done to the organisers of this event, who managed to intersperse the serious business of Ofsted Inspections and fee reviews alongside the even more serious business of keeping the child at the centre of what we do.
Strategic Development Executive