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CHARM – Children’s Homes Association of Residential Managers

The ambition
The understanding and value of Residential Child Care practice has to be regained with both colleague professionals across Children’s Services and with the public.

The need for an association – promoting the uniqueness of Residential Child Care.

Residential Child Care needs its own positive professional identity.
• The collective views of practitioners are vital.
• An organisation is required that can provide coordination and communication to and from practitioners.
• A group must exist that can hold and articulate theory and practice, evidence and experience.
• This is a role for CHARM.
• CHARM will seek registration as a Registered Children’s Home manager and Residential Child Care Worker as professional titles protected by law. Social workers have to register and gain professional respect and authority. CHARM will act to achieve the same for RCC practitioners.

Residential Child Care in its own right:
• Residential Child Care workers in other countries are valued highly, with a high professional standing, their role and task is fully appreciated.
• Residential Child Care is not social work – Social workers have their needs represented by several organisations such as the College of Social Work.
• Residential Child Care is not fostering – Fostering has its perspective promoted by Fostering Network (for individuals involved with fostering ) and BAAF (for organisations)
• Residential Child Care is not teaching – Teaching has many organisations representing its general and specific role and task
• Residential Child Care needs its own organisations – together a Residential Child Care professional association with the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care and the Children’s Residential Network reborn as CHARM form an evidenced-informed platform that can speak drawing from the wealth of knowledge and experience.
• For Residential Child Care to take its rightful positive place it needs to build alliances with other like-minded organisations.

A strong voice for Residential Child Care 
• The experts in what is happening now are those working in children’s homes today.
• Responsibility for what happens in Residential Child Care has to be understood as a correlation not always attributable to the sector as the cause.
• You get positive Residential Child Care in a positive children’s services system.
• For many years Residential Child Care has been use as ‘last resort’.
• This needs to change and we need to use our Residential Child Care resources with purpose, planning
• For a positive use of Residential Child Care

A positive regard for Residential Child Care – positive environments, positive
professional parenting
• A profession is defined by the exercising of individual and collective responsibility for current and future practice.
• Practitioners must be willing and supported to exercise professional judgement, challenge poor practice at structural as well as individual levels.
• This requires practitioners being seen (and seeing themselves) as active participants in the development of practice, in their places of work and in the development of the sector more generally.
• Without a professional association where are those enquiring going to get a view from practitioners?
• For practitioners to be involved in all developments of the sector there needs to be a coordinated ‘voice’.

CHARMing actions – What CHARM aims to do
Raising awareness about the CHARM and recruiting members.

Regional networks – virtual support for each other, webinar and actual meetings.
• Discussing the issues and solutions for the sector;
• Supporting successful meeting of the Quality Standards
• Sharing good practice
• Workforce development – what is needed? And how?
• News and views
• Networking
• CHARM pages on the NCERCC website
• Fortnightly newsletter, and further briefings with analysis and discussion

Each regional meeting will agree a regional representative to form a link group across the country. The regional representative will be a member of the National Council which will act as the steering group for CHARM activities.

Regional meetings of the regional groups will be part of the two meeting s year in each region that will be organised by NCERCC’s CRN.

CHARMing actions – What CHARM aims to do longer term Longer term goals
• Raise the profile of Residential Child Care as a positive place in a young person’s life
• Creating a space where practitioners can meet and support one another
• Providing regional/national forums for discussing particular issues/themes
• Creating and sustaining learning sets and a developing a community of practice, where practitioners can share and develop practice that is grounded in evidence and experience
• Plan and deliver a national conference in Autumn 2015
• Networking with other like-minded associations
• Influencing policy

CHARM – how to join.
• At this stage membership of CHARM is open to all Registered Managers in England, and to others as Associate Members
• You will be kept up to date on CHARM activities through newsletters, mailing list and regional meetings.
• Looking to the future CHARM will need to be funded the subscriptions of its membership. These will be set in relation to other similar professional associations.
• Register your interest by emailing NCERCC your name, name of your home, and region.
• www.ncercc.co.uk

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