The Care Files Part 8

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The Care Files Part 8
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The reports and documents made on a child in care during the 1960s.

Page 70.
12.12.67 Report of Child Care Officer.
I visited the mother in London, she is hopeful that, in February, she will move to Wiltshire, where her sister and brother in law are negotiating to buy a business. This has not yet been confirmed. She feels that it will be best if she goes first and settles in and then has Philip home, probably at the end of the Spring term in July.
I told the mother that we had been in touch with the Child Guidance Clinic and that it is possible that the clinic will contact her. She was pleased about this and would be willing, if necessary, to go to St. Albans.
The mother is hoping to have Philip home for part of the Christmas holiday, but not for Christmas Day as he would be the only child at home and would have a better time at Harpenden.
The St. Albans Clinic telephoned me to say that there was some doubt as to whether they would be able to work with the mother, as she was out of their area, although the mother might be invited to the diagnostic interview.

MY ANSWER. They seem to be thinking that I should leave them at the start of the summer holidays in 1968. If I could only have been told this, I would have something to look forward to.

71. 20.12.67 Letter to Child Care Officer from Family Clinic.
I have discussed this case and we have come to the conclusion that the best plan would be if perhaps you could come along to the diagnostic interview when we can arrange it. We will not start any work with the mother as there is such a short time between now and February when she moves to Wiltshire, but we will pass the papers on to them so that they can make a fresh start there.

72. 27.12.67 Letter to Clinic from Child Care Officer.
Thank you for your letter and help with Philip. I shall be glad if possible to come to the diagnostic interview.

73. 27.12.67 Letter to Child Care Officer from Philip.
Thank you for your lovely gift of the scrapbook. I enjoyed Christmas, we had dinner in the evening so we could play with our toys after Chapel. I hope you had a very nice Christmas also. Love from Philip.

MY ANSWER. This is the only surviving item of my handwriting from an early age. Although it is rather poor, this letter would have been one of many that I would have written after Christmas to the many people who sent me presents. One disadvantage of having many relatives, it was that there were a large number of letters to write. Possibly this was one of a number I had to write on the day, and by the time I reached this one perhaps it was a little hurried as I still had plenty of presents to play with.

11 Years Old
74. 03.01.68 Letter to Mother from Child Care Officer.
We have just been given some theatre tickets for ‘Give a Dog a Bone’, for Friday, 5th January. I enclose four, and wonder if you would like to take Philip. Maybe Lenton and his mother would like the other two: if not, you could give them to another friend who might like them. I enclose the directions for reaching Westminster Theatre. The show is at 6.15 pm. I hope that Philip will enjoy the rest of his holiday.

11 Years Old
75. 06.01.68 Letter to Child Care Office from the Mother.
Thank you very much for the tickets to see ‘Give a Dog a Bone’. We took Lenton and his sister, and we all enjoyed it very much indeed. I think it’s the most charming pantomime I have ever seen. After the show, the three children had their programmes autographed by nearly all the cast. Philip was thrilled to bits, the programme has been shown to everyone we know, thank you for the most helpful directions, I did not know where the Westminster Theatre was.
Philip went to the hospital to see my mother this afternoon, they allowed him into the ward, but she did not seem at all well and spoke very little. I don’t think hospital life suits her.
Tomorrow afternoon we will be going back to Highfield. I expect Philip will find school a bit tame after his eventful Christmas holiday. Thank you again for the tickets and for all the kind interest you have taken in Philip.

MY ANSWER. Taken to a major London theatre, was a real treat. This was perhaps one happy event that lodged in my mind; what the play was actually about was completely forgotten after a few months.
The song:
I Dream of Ice Cream, Sausages and Cake,
Things that you fry,
Things that you bake.
It’s such a nice dream, I’m afraid to wake,
When I Dream of Ice Cream, Sausages and Cake.

76. 10.01.68 Report on Visit by Child Care Officer.
Philip was at home, on holiday and had Lenton, who is in his family group at Harpenden, playing with him.
Philip seemed to be enjoying his holiday. He was quite excitable and still spoke very fast, not really forming his sentences well and sometimes almost speaking nonsense.
The grandmother is still in hospital, having broken her leg again. This means the mother has been free to take Philip out this holiday.
Plans for moving to Wiltshire are still progressing, although no definite date had been fixed. It was difficult to talk in front of the children and I agree to call again towards the end of the month.

MY ANSWER. A holiday in London and a visit on my birthday by the Child Care Officer and there was a very good reason for me to be excited. If she was unable to understand what I was saying, it was that I was teaching Lenton ‘back-slang’, a way of reversing the order of letters in certain words, so others could not understand what was said.
During the periods that my grandmother was in hospital, I often went with my mother on her visits. Other than on one occasion when I was allowed in to see her, I was not able to visit; there was a firm rule that children under fourteen were not admitted during visiting hours. My mother’s visits were often for an hour or so. I was left outside the hospital entrance to wait until her visit was over. On a rainy day my mother made sure I wore my raincoat, hat and wellingtons so I would not become too soaked during the time she was with my grandmother.

77. 12.01.68 Letter to Governor at NCH Harpenden from Clinic.
Philip is still on our waiting list to be seen by a psychiatrist, but I am afraid we have not been able to fit him in yet. Our Social Worker has been in touch with the Child Care Officer. I think that it is unlikely that we shall be able to offer treatment for Philip.

78. 17.01.68 Letter to Rev. Gordon. E. Barritt. NCH London from Governor NCH Harpenden.
You will have received the copy of the letter from the clinic to me on 12th January, in which it says that it is unlikely that the Child and Family Psychiatric Clinic will be able to offer treatment for Philip.
In view of this I feel it is important for Philip to return to live with his mother as soon as it can be arranged.

MY ANSWER The letter to the Home suggested that the Child and Family Psychiatric Clinic would not be able to offer me any treatment. The Home had the idea that I would have been with them for another six months or so; that would have allowed any problems that I might have to be sorted out before I was returned to my mother. This letter from the clinic changes all the plans the Home had over my future.
Their minds were made up; they wanted me to leave the Home. Did they have the idea that I could cause them a major problem? This was just at the point having changed schools that life at the Home was starting to get better.
If the Child Guidance Clinic had told the NCH that they could help me whilst at Harpenden, it might have been the idea of the NCH that I started a session as soon as possible. That my mother would be able to move to Wiltshire and settle down first would have easily come about. My leaving the NCH would then have been near to the summer; it might have even been suggested that I stay on longer at the Home to complete a Play Therapy course; this could have delayed my leaving by up to a year.
A course of Play Therapy sessions might have helped my emotional development; it could however have caused additional problems if I had decided that I could not stand living at the Home any longer. It was down to luck that the Child Guidance Clinic decided that they could not help me.

79. 23.01.68 Telephone conversation from St Albans Clinic to Child Care Officer.
It was explained that as the mother was expected to move to Wiltshire in the near future, and take Philip with her, it was difficult to see the value of commencing treatment for Philip. This is partly because Philip would have to learn to relate to the people at St. Albans Clinic, and then would have to commence again in Wiltshire.
After some discussion, it was suggested that, if the mother does soon move, her address should be sent to the St. Albans Clinic and then The Clinic could write to the nearest Clinic in Wiltshire, explaining why he had not been seen, and asking that he should be seen in Wiltshire with his mother.

Image from page 30 of “The boy craftsman; practical ad profitable ideas for a boy’s leisure hours” (1905)
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Identifier: boycraftsmanprac01hall
Title: The boy craftsman; practical ad profitable ideas for a boy’s leisure hours
Year: 1905 (1900s)
Authors: Hall, A. Neely (Albert Neely), b. 1883
Subjects: Woodwork Toys Amusements
Publisher: Boston, Lee and Shepard
Contributing Library: The Library of Congress
Digitizing Sponsor: Sloan Foundation

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Carpenter work should be encouraged in a boy fromthe time he first becomes interested in it, for besidesbeing something with which to keep him busy, the ex-perience gained by its practice will be useful to him allhis life, no matter what branch of industry he may followlater on. When a boy has learned the proper care and use oftools, and is able to turn out neatly executed work, hewill find the occupation a profitable one, there being anunlimited number of things he can make in his shop. Doll-houses for girl relatives, toys for brothers andcousins, and articles for the household, such as aredescribed in following chapters, are a few of the manythings he can construct. Many of these are salablearticles, besides being suitable for birthday and Christ-mas gifts, and should bring a neat sum of money to theyoung carpenter. A knowledge of carpenter work also develops in aboy a handiness for devising and putting together articlesand apparatus for his own use. 3 PROFITABLE PASTIMES A boy shou

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