by Keith White – The Therapeutic Care Journal, 1st December 2022
“In this piece I would like to reflect on belongings at a later stage in a child’s development: when the time comes for a young person to leave foster or residential care. In some residential institutions, such as hospitals or prisons, it is vital as they say on trains and planes, to “take all your belongings with you”. Apart from gifts to others, anything left behind is likely to be incinerated.
But what about places such as Mill Grove, where children and young people have lived, for a substantial part of their childhoods? Must they take all their belongings with them? What we have found is that, when given a choice, on leaving some young people have chosen to leave some of their belongings with us. The phenomenon has been so common that it is important to see what patterns, and motives, conscious and unconscious, might be in evidence.”
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