In Budapest two candidate members for FICE International have been invited to present their organisations and explain the reasons why they would like to join FICE International.
In the fall of 2001 David Lane has spoken extensively with Andrew Hosie and he sees no objections in allowing him to start up FICE Scotland. Scottish law is different from English law, so it is in a way a separate country. There is one consideration to take into account: if FICE Scotland is allowed to join, FICE UK will become FICE England.
In the CE in Paris the Executive Committee discussed this item and decided that Andrew Hosie should be invited to the FC in Budapest to explain his motivation.
The intentions of the meeting in Moscow in January was to discuss the formation of a new organisation, a knowledge centre on childcare, and to establish co-operation with international organisations like FICE. The name of this new organisation will be the "Association of Experts on the Problems of Children". Beside the All Russian Fund of Education, other organisations will participate in this new organisation such as an organisation of directors and workers in children's homes.
Martti Kemppainen has spoken with Emilia Chernivskaya in Moscow to get further information and he feels that this new organisation would be a good candidate for FICE membership. Emilia Chernivskaya will present the new organisation as a candidate member.
There is one problem, according to the FICE statutes only two representatives per country can participate in FICE International. For Russia there are already two representatives, but one of them, The Union of Social Child Care, has not been very active nor have they paid there membership fees for a number of years. The feeling is that the interest of this organisation in FICE membership has dwindled and should be terminated.
1 The website has now been purchased and work has commenced on designing the site and putting material on it. A paper is attached, laying out the proposed structure, together with notes concerning the way in which it will be run, subject to the Federal Council's approval.
2 Decisions are required from the Federal Council on a number of key points :
2.1 A number of key words need to be selected for use by search engines. It is recommended that at this stage, they are limited to twenty-four, (i.e. eight in each of FICE's official languages). The following terms are recommended in order of priority for approval or amendment :
English French German
FICE FICE FICE
2.2 A strapline needs to be selected to explain briefly what FICE's role is, for use on the home page. The wording is so important in the projection of FICE-Inter's image that the Federal Council is asked to give its endorsement :
English The international
professional association for people who work with children and
2.3 The Federal Council is asked to select a code word to be used by FICE members in accessing sites restricted to the membership. Further words will also be selected if confidential forums are established.
2.4 The Federal Council is asked to endorse the attached Contents list.
3 The support of FICE National Sections is also sought in the following ways :
3.1 Where FICE members control websites, they are asked to arrange a reciprocal hyperlink, in order to ensure widespread access to the site.
3.2 FICE National Sections are requested to nominate a member who can act as correspondent or contact point for the website, sending material for inclusion and checking that material is acceptable.
3.3 Members who hold records of past Federal Council meetings, Congresses etc., are requested to assist by scanning the material and sending it electronically for inclusion to firstname.lastname@example.org
David C. Lane
1 What is FICE? 1.1 Aims and
3 Talk to Us
4 FICE Events
5 FICE Members and Links
6 FICE-Inter Policies 6.1
7 FICE-Inter Projects 7.1
8 FICE-Inter Congresses and
8.1 September 2002 Berlin
9 Federal Councils and Executive
Committees 9.1 April 2002 Budapest
10 How to Use the Website
1 In principal, it is intended
that all the material will be made available in all three official
FICE languages. There will, in practice, be exceptions, however
2 In Sections 5, 8 and 9 additional material will be attached where it is available, for example :
(a) if a National Section
wishes to put promotional material on the FICE-Inter website;
Where such material is available electronically, it will be included directly. Where it is only available in hard copy, it will be scanned in. In this way an archive will be built up, for future reference.
3 Each page will have links to :
(a) the Contents page,
4 Unless notified that information should be kept confidential, contact details provided will consist of :
(a) postal address,
5 Some parts of the website will be kept confidential to FICE members, if required. These could include:
(a) addresses, telephone numbers
or other contact details,
It will be possible for all FICE members to share a code word to access such material, or to provide smaller groups of members with code words for particular subjects.
6 Care will need to be taken to ensure that unsuitable material is excluded from the website. Reliance will therefore be placed on FICE members (and National Sections in particular) to ensure that the material they provide is acceptable.
7 A limited number of key words will be set up for search engines to access the site. When the volume of material is sufficient, an internal word search will be provided.
8 This website will only be built up over time, and its usefulness will depend upon the material provided. It is hoped that it will offer :
(a) information about FICE
David C. Lane
1 At the meeting of the Federal Council in Bucharest in October 2001 it was decided to set up a Task Force to consider FICE's future roles and programme of activities, together with any changes needed to its structures and systems in order to implement the proposed strategy. The Task Force met on 15th February 2002 in Paris, and its conclusions were discussed further by the Executive Committee the following day. This paper is based on those discussions and lays out proposals for FICE's Objectives, Statutes, Structure and Programme of Activities. The Federal Council is asked to endorse or amend these proposals, so that they can be placed before the General Assembly in Berlin for approval and implementation.
2 The following factors provided the context for the Task Force :
(a) FICE has had no effective Secretary General for more than a year, and the new Director of the Pestalozzi Foundation has indicated that he will have to concentrate on his work for the Foundation and will be unable to take on the role of Secretary General for FICE. The Pestalozzi Foundation has, however, offered 10,000 Francs for each of the next two years to support FICE. Alternative arrangements therefore have to be made to appoint a Secretary General or carry out the responsibilities in other ways.
(b) There was considerable concern expressed at the Federal Council meeting in Bucharest about the tensions and confusion created by the existence of FICE-Europe. When it had been set up, it had been hoped that other continental groups would also be established and that funding for activities could be attracted from the European Union. In the event, the outcome had been disappointing, and it was felt that there should be only one Board dealing with both European and International matters, though no decision was taken, in view of the absence of Robert Soisson, the President of FICE-Europe.
(c) At the Federal Council meeting in Trogen in February 2001 it was recognised that FICE-International needed to establish a new website, in view of the growing use of the internet and the scope it offers to maintain links with members and potential members throughout the world. At the Bucharest Federal Council, an offer from FICE-UK to run the website for FICE-International was accepted, subject to the Executive Committee agreeing a contract with FICE-UK. This has now been agreed.
(d) Relations with other international organisations working in the field of childcare and social education were considered at the Bucharest Federal Council meeting, and it was agreed that FICE should maintain a distinct identity but form partnerships with other organisations where there was likely to be mutual benefit.
(e) David Lane put forward a paper to the Federal Council in Trogen, arguing that it was time to review the roles of Vice Presidents. The task of considering future areas of responsibility was remitted to the Task Force by the Federal Council in Bucharest.
Principles and Assumptions
3 The following principles and assumptions underlie the Task Force's proposals :
(a) The main aim of FICE's programme of activities should be the achievement of effective action. Too often good ideas have taken too long to put into effect, or have failed, causing disappointment. Modest targets which are achieved are better than big targets which are not reached.
(b) In view of FICE's current resources, it will have to rely upon its members to work on a voluntary basis, and it therefore needs to set targets which can be achieved by members who are also busy in their work and other areas of activity.
(c) To make targets achievable, it is proposed that responsibilities should be widely shared, so that a large number of members can contribute without any of them being overburdened.
(d) FICE needs to ensure that projects are properly planned, supported, monitored and evaluated, to make sure that they are carried out effectively.
(e) FICE-International projects will usually need to involve a number of countries, so that all FICE countries can be involved in one or more international projects.
(f) For each project and area of responsibility in FICE-International, there will need to be a single responsible person to lead and manage the work, and who will be supported and monitored.
(g) To be effective world-wide,
FICE needs to expand beyond Europe, and there also needs to be
a general growth in membership so that the support and contact
available through FICE is widely shared.
4 Taking account of the context, the underlying principles and assumptions listed above and the discussions of the Task Force, the following proposals are put forward for the approval of the Federal Council :
(a) The Objectives laid down in the Statutes in 1994 are well-worded and still reflect FICE's aims and roles. They should therefore be endorsed.
(b) The Executive Committee should be expanded so that it can conduct and oversee the business of FICE-International more effectively. It should consist of :
- the President of FICE-International,
These changes will entail some extra cost in travel expenses for the new posts of Vice President, but will save the cost of the contribution to the salary of the Secretary General.
(c) The Vice President : FICE Services will advise the President on the conduct of FICE matters and will oversee the development and ongoing conduct of services established by FICE-International, such as representation on international bodies and the website.
(d) The Vice President : Projects will oversee new areas of professional development, such as Education sans Frontieres.
(e) The Vice-President : Membership will encourage the attraction of new members and the creation of new National Sections in countries where there is currently no FICE activity.
(f) The posts of President, Treasurer will remain unchanged and that of Vice President : Europe will be very similar to that of the existing President of FICE-Europe. Each of the posts will have a job description, attached in Appendix A, which will lay down the respective responsibilities of the posts. Among other things, Executive Committee members will be expected to report in advance in writing to each meeting of the Federal Council on progress in their areas of responsibility.
(g) Each member of the Executive Committee will be responsible for a number of FICE's functions or for projects, each of which will be managed by Project Managers. It will be the responsibility of the Executive Council members to support the Project Managers, provide them with help and advice, and encourage the Project Managers to attain their targets. A job description for Project Managers is also attached in Appendix A.
(h) There will be progress reports on each of the projects and on FICE's ongoing functions to each Federal Council meeting, and to General Assembly every two years. The proposed projects and other ongoing functions are listed in Appendix B.
(i) The Statutes and Rules of Procedure will need to be modified to take account of these changes. The proposed changes are attached as Appendix C. Subject to the agreement of the Federal Council, they will be presented to the General Assembly in Berlin.
(j) Since the existing Statutes include a clause (11.6) which permits the immediate implementation of changes in the Statutes, it will then be possible for the General Assembly to hold elections for the new Executive Committee posts, and for the Federal Council to elect the Project Managers and other people responsible for FICE services, ongoing functions, etc..
(k) If the above proposals are approved (subject to amendment by the Federal Council), they will be prepared for presentation to the General Assembly in Berlin.
Article 3.2, para. three reads: "Likewise supranational bodies may also be accepted as Full Members under exceptional circumstances, in which cases the General Assembly will determine voting rights."
This refers (presumably) to
international associations rather than to a section such as the
Supplementary proposal to
Article 3.2 :
(Additional, fourth paragraph)
On behalf of the President
FICE Federal Council Meeting
: Hungary: April 2002
Report of the United Kingdom Section
1. The CfC Council ( The Board
of FICE UK )
In February we held a Strategy Meeting to plan our work for the year ahead. In the months ahead it is our intention to further develop a number of work groups, which will mainly make use of e-mail and telephone conferencing, rather than face to face meetings, since this seems to be the developing way of saving both time and money.
2. The current social and political context.
The Government has a range of proposed legislation which will affect children and young people working it way through the parliamentary process.
One is an Education Bill which will start to hand back some power and control to some individual schools which have proved that they have been successful in meeting some of the targets imposed in recent years. Hopefully it will herald the eventual end of the National Curriculum which has stifled much of the creativity and enjoyment in schools which have been pre-occupied by test results and league tables.
Another piece of legislation the Adoption and Children Bill will improve the situation of children who are adopted, because it will strengthen their rights to be told of their origins and have greater access to information which is held on record about them.
Unfortunately this legislation will not be retrospective and there are significant numbers of women who are now quite elderly who were forced to give up their babies for adoption when they were young un-married mothers and have since been denied all knowledge about what has become of them. Although this legislation is meant to be going through a consultation process the government has so far refused to listen to their representations, saying that retrospective legislation would be too difficult to apply.
Lord Laming is continuing to take evidence in an inquiry into the death in London of Victoria Climbie, a child who was systematically physically abused by an aunt and her partner, into whose care her parents had mistakenly sent her to enjoy a better life in England. He has also broadened the inquiry to take account of lessons to be learned by the death in Norfolk of Lauren Wright who died as a result of injuries inflicted by her step mother. In both cases all the helping agencies made a number of errors of judgement and errors of omission, which left two vulnerable young girls fatally unprotected.
The sensational press was, for a time, full of condemnations particularly of the social workers involved. As has happened so many times before the tragedies were quickly swept off the front pages by more commercially attractive stories. The findings and recommendations which are emerging ahead of the publication of the report tell a familiar story of staff shortages, insufficient training and lack of communication between the professionals.
In this context Caring for Children remains keen to promote the idea of re-framing our concept of children and childhood, so that the kind of treatment which these two little girls received from their adult carers would become unthinkable.
3. The Web Mag
The main focus of our work has continued to be aimed at building up and contributing to the management of the Web Mag children.uk.co which continues to go from strength to strength.
The second successful placement of a social worker from Germany is coming to an end at about this time.
While I believe that the experience has been interesting and valuable to both the participant and the hosts I must point out that although the arrangement was made through the FICE PEP co-ordinators in Germany and the UK it has in fact been temporary employment and not a PEP placement.
I received another approach direct from a potential candidate from Germany, which I referred to Wolfgang Trede, since when I have heard no more. It was clear that she was really looking for paid employment and I felt that I had to make clear that the purpose of FICE PEP is not to act as an employment agency.
We shall of course continue to try to assist appropriate applicants from any FICE Sections.