Working with Looked After Children is the cornerstone of our work.
Our method has grown organically from 30 years of work with vulnerable and traumatised children. In early days we created our own ethos, engineering successful outcomes and building our music work from this. We helped disengaged young people transform their lives, gain confidence and self esteem, find a voice and go on to achieve. Our work is child focussed, honest, creative and responds to the needs of the individual. We have placed ourselves with the most challenging young people achieving results by responding, being flexible & empathetic -surrounding them with imagination, positive creativity and hope. Looked after children live in a world where they are expected to fail. We work alongside them and help them to create, realise and achieve their potential.
Using creativity we provide looked after children with a way to express themselves, to focus their energy and to have fun. This isn’t just a welcome distraction but also a way to build their resilience (self empowerment, self confidence, strengthened relationships, social skills and increased participation).
We have worked in partnership with many Children’s Services around the country, the National Children’s Bureau, Foster Carers, LACE teams, NCH Action for Children, Barnardo’s, the Foster Care Associates, Sing Up! Beyond the Mainstream, Youth Music, The Media Trust, Media Box.
Over the last few years we have been developing links with Professor Pat Petrie from The Thomas Coram Research Unit at the Institute of Education, The Social Pedagogue Development Network (SPDN) which includes TCRU, ThemPra, Jacaranda and the Fostering Network.
We have discovered that our practice is in line with the key principals of social pedagogy and that we (and many of the artists we work with) have been practising as what Pat has termed "artist pedagogues" for many years. After two inspirational research trips to Denmark we have realised that we have been trying to put into practice a theory already adopted over many years by pedagogues across Europe.
Subsequently we have spent a great deal of time honing our thinking into a coherent training package for artists. we have already been delivering this training around the country for practitioners and creative organisations.
For more information regarding our own artist pedagogue methods visit our training page