The Child Care History Network was formally created and a Constitution agreed on October 23, 2008, following a year long process of networking, consultation and communication. This process was led by a small Steering Group elected at a general meeting held at the National Children's Bureau on February 27th, 2008. The basic aim of the new organisation was laid out in the notes to that meeting :
The Network is intended to provide a setting within which interested persons can share information about the history of child care and develop ways of preserving, valuing and promulgating history.
Members of the Network include former children in care, social workers, administrators, academics, researchers, students, archivists, museum professionals, librarians, psychotherapists, writers. Anyone or any organisation or institution with an interest or concern for child care and its history is welcome to join.
The Network is administratively based at the Planned Environment Therapy Trust, Barns House, Church Lane, Toddington, near Cheltenham, Glos. GL54 5DQ
There is an open email discussion group
There is a Members' Newsletter
There are regular Conferences , the recordings from a number of which are on the website
And there is this website. Members can register on the site, and help to develop the work by adding website links and content directly themselves. For help and information on this, please contact Craig Fees.
What is "Child Care"?
For the Child Care History Network, Child care is used to refer to all services provided for children by persons who are not members of their natural or step-family, other than mainstream schooling. It therefore includes early years services such as childminding, nannying, nurseries and playgroups, adoption, fostercare, residential child care, boarding education, therapeutic work with children, youth and community work, social work and social care with children and families, secure estate for young people, care for children in hospital, and aftercare.
But then what is a "Child"?
For our purposes, "Child " is used flexibly to cover everyone until they become adult, and is therefore taken to include not only those legally defined as children and young people but also young adults requiring services during the transition from childhood, and the families of all children receiving services where relevant. CCHN is conscious of the fact that the legal definitions of childhood vary from country to country, and it aims to be inclusive.
And what do we mean by "History"?
For CCHN, History is taken to cover both the history of individuals who have experienced child care services and the history of organisations, such as voluntary bodies, private providers of children’s services and local authorities, and individuals who have been in some way involved in their provision, for example as practitioners, lecturers, researchers and policy-makers.