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Beyond A Boundary. Learning From Cricket About Residential Child Care (2)

Beyond a boundary. Learning from cricket about residential child care (2)

#2 in the series of four.

Of teams and time

Given provision meeting needs, the stabilisation stage of recovery in a residential child care placement can be rapid.

That is only the start.

Think of progress in a care relationship as a diamond, The shape of a diamond starts  narrow then widens and subsequently narrows again.

To achieve the benefit of time in a residential setting requires establishing a caring consistent and concerned relationship.

It starts narrow and then explores the previous and present life in and aided by a relationship of dependency. Achieving a, perhaps first, dependency is important. (Is dependency an almost forgotten concept and practice. There are others NCERCC will be remembering in the next months, such as grieving).

Supported by this relationship exploration, change and resilience reaches its widest of emotional and practical abilities.

Then starts the gradual weaning as the primary care giver relaxes their involvement and increases the independence of the child.

Job done? Time to move? No. Or, more accurately, not necessarily.

All too frequently this happens but is predicated on a misunderstanding of child development.

Job half done.

There is now the need for a second diamond in which the child is now accompanied by their primary care giver experiencing the learning from the previous diamond, internalising the learning in a new way.

Only then is job done.

Maybe. Maybe not.

The need for that caring relationship may continue, maybe through life, after all it is a parenting task that has been performed.

Doing this well requires a model that includes time, 2 to 3 years is not uncommon.

Months is way too short.

It requires skilled professionals. The primary carer will have acquired personal knowledge and experience or, if they are as yet lacking that personal knowledge and experience, then they will be closely supported and managed by someone who has it and who will also be managing the environment.

So how does this relate to cricket?

Think of the primary care giver as a person batting. Occupying the crease, right stance, requires preparation and skill. Acquired technique over time is honed by coaching, playing to strengths, avoiding weaknesses, playing the bad ball not the good ball. Know how the bowler bowls. Look at what is going on all around in the field placings. Steady accumulation, pace, stamina, concentration. It requires flexibility of thought and the ability to adjust in a split second. What if the bowler can swing the ball away from the expected trajectory? What of the spinner who can bowl a ‘wrong-un’ taking an entirely unpredicted course?

Or think of them as a bowler, acquired technique over time, honed by coaching. Line and length is the optimum, pace if you have it, spin as necessary. But medium pace can be as effective. Know where to put the ball to the person to whom you are bowling. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Then there is the leadership, on and off the field, internal and external management, the Registered Manager and Responsible Individual. Leadership and management.

  • Fielding – planning the environment for the task and function of the game and of the moment. The team supports the individual. This is a group game.
  • Groundskeeping – not too green – what is needed to maximise your endeavours as a team? The material environment matters.
  • Umpire – knowing the game, the rules, applying them fairly. You are relied upon.
  • Selection – every game requires thinking about. There is specific preparation needed for each. Assessment is crucial
  • Schooling – training requires knowledgeable and experienced successful previous players. It requires the additional expertise of psychology, physiotherapists, financial managers. The team players need to know what to do, and when, and that they can do it.