About Us

Carlow College, St. Patrick’s is proud to host the Ireland branch of the International Centre for Therapeutic Care, which is based at the pioneering and progressive Mulberry Bush School, in Oxfordshire, England. Founded in 1948 by Dublin born Barbara Dockar Drysdale, 'The Bush' continues to thrive as a world class centre of excellence in the treatment and education of the UK's most troubled children.         

Since 2004 the MA in Therapeutic Child Care Course at Carlow College has been encouraging a therapeutic and mostly psychodynamic approach to caring for children and young people in residential and foster care. There are now at least seven residential centres for children in Ireland working by principles and practices inspired by Dockar Drysdale, Winnicott and Bowlby, among others. TUSLA, the Republic of Ireland’s Child and Family Agency has since 2014 been offering therapeutic training for foster carers, designed and delivered by MATCC staff, and has piloted one of its own children’s homes as a therapeutic community.


The International Centre’s lead person in Ireland is Damien McLellan, a Consultant Psychotherapist, who together with Peter Kieran, brought the MATCC Course to Carlow College, courtesy of Adrian Ward and the University of Reading and the Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities. Damien is Course Leader of the MATCC and the Certificate in Therapeutic Foster Care Course delivered in co-operation with TUSLA and St Bernard’s Children’s Services.

 

We intend this site to be a rich source of learning from practice and research. We welcome contribution from social care workers, foster carers and academic colleagues by way of articles, papers and dissertations.



Promoting Therapeutic Child Care, Social Pedagogy and Trauma Informed Practice with articles and information to inform, stimulate and educate.Written by and for those working within child care internationally.


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Young Minds is an organisation established to help young people, their parents, the professionals who work with them and the policy makers in government to improve mental health for children and young people in the UK.


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Symly Trust provides therapeutic residential care and aftercare for children and young people. The centre provide high quality care and treatment within psychodynamic principles and a therapeutic community approach. This recognises the importance of the inner world as the source of much distress, but also of much hope and strength for change and growth.


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Circle of Security International presents training around the globe focusing on the early intervention models to increase attachment and security development.


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Adrian Ward is an author, editor and photographer. He has written and edited several books in the fields of residential care and therapeutic communities, social work and professional education. He has also contributed chapters to many other books, including a recent chapter on the ‘English Riots’ of 2011 in Broken Bounds, a collection on the psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott’s work on the idea of the ‘anti-social tendency’.


Find out more: Here


John Whitwell has worked in the child care field since 1969 and has wrote several papers which were mainly published in the journal, “Therapeutic Communities”. John's site is a way of making his papers available and sharing other materials from his work in child care.

Find out more: Here