One of the main values of FICE is the networks it creates. Here is the chance to network! If you have questions or opinions on any subject connected with the services which children and young people receive, send them in :

Lakehead Regional Family Centre
283 Lisgar St.
Thunder Bay, Ontario
P7B 6G6
(807) 343 5046

To whom it may concern;

As a children's mental health professional, I am committed to reducing violence by and against children. I provide clinical leadership, for a non profit children's mental health agency, to professionals who treat severely traumatized and aggressive youth in a Northern Ontario Canadian Community.

As you are aware, this population of youth tax the professional's ability to manage them safely and result in high risk situations. In response to this challenge, under the guidance of Dr. Jim Anglin as a graduate student in Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria, I have developed curriculum to assist professionals in treating aggression in youth. I have submitted this research project for presentation at an International Conference in Ireland facilitated by Cornell University. This conference is aimed at improving the best practices of managing challenging behavior (aggression) within the residential and familial setting. This conference will include leaders and practitioners from around the globe. My proposal was accepted for the conference in April, 2005.

However, as you are aware children's mental health agencies around the world are under funded. Subsequently, I am seeking support from organizations committed to improving the health of children and increasing the best practices of the treatment of aggression in residential services through international efforts and partnerships. If you are interested in supporting this endeavour, please contact me @ 807 343 5046. I thank you for your time and consideration.


Rebecca Ward Bernst B.A.CYC, M.A. CYC (Candidate)
Supervisor, Short Term Assessment and Treatment Unit
Lakehead Regional Family Center

Punishing Children

There is a big debate going on in the United Kingdom at present about hitting children. The professionals are arguing against it, and there is a campaign called Children are Unbeatable to which many people have signed up, as individuals or as organisations.

However, in England the Government is standing by the position it took some time ago, that to tell parents not to smack children interferes with their rights to bring up children as they choose, especially as they say "a loving tap" never did anyone any harm. This situation especially annoys childminders, as the Government says that - alone out of all professionals who work with children - parents can authorise them to administer corporal punishment, which the childminders do not want to do.

In Scotland, on the other hand, it seems likely that the law will be changed and parents will be stopped from smacking.

Can anyone offer information about the laws in other countries, how workable they are, changes in public attitudes to hitting children and in particular the impact of your laws on the physical abuse of children?

Secure Accommodation for Children

This seems to be a subject which is of concern to professionals. (Wolfgang Treder circulated a questionnaire about it not long ago.) In the United Kingdom, the number of children in the prison system keeps going up, perhaps influenced by the Government's general policy to be tough on offenders.

Once in prison, the children are not subject to the Children Acts which provide them with services and protect their rights when they are in other sorts of accommodation, such as residential schools, children's homes or secure units for children run by local authorities. This situation worries a lot of people in the United Kingdom. There has not been much talk about it in FICE.

What is the position in your country? Who runs secure accommodation for children? Is it a separate system from children's homes? Are the rights of children in secure accommodation observed?

I am interested in gaining an overview over 'secure accomodation' of children and youth in some countries in Europe. This means which kinds of secure accomodation are there apart from imprisonment, and especially what are the laws/bills or legal acts according to which children and youth are put into secure accomodation?

Which role does pedagogy play in this respect, are there any educative ideas tied to these concepts?

What other alternatives are there to deal with the extremely 'difficult' children and youth?

Do you have any information on these topics and which are the trends and tendencies?
Could you tell me which laws are relevant, which literature could give me more information or whom I could contact in this respect?

I would be very glad if you could help me.

Jasmin Mamier

Do you have any other subjects you want to ask questions
or share information about?

Standards in Children's Services?
Social education for Gypsy / Roma / Zinti / Traveller children?
Children in families where someone has HIV/AIDS?
Children's Rights?
Immigrant / Refugee Children?