Looked after children out of county

Today the government have declared that the number of looked after children that have been placed, out of area, need to be reduced.

They have said this is necessary due  to children not remaining in viable contact with their families, friends and knowing the locality.

Having worked for some years, in agencies connected to looked after children I do not believe this is the case. I am not a social worker and have never worked for a local authority, except when they have ‘bought in’ my services pertinent to one family, on a contract basis.

Children are sometimes moved ‘out of area’, however as I have always understood it, this decision is not made without significant consideration, by the ‘placing authority’. (The county where the children live)

Children are moved, generally because they would be in danger, if they were to stay in the same locality.

I realise it is very expensive. I know that being a long way away from their home town means that family visits are more costly and often less frequent, if allowed at all. I know that people within the authorities recognise that it is pertinent to the children’s lives they have as few ‘moves’ as possible.

In this day and age there are few children that are in care because society or families stigmatise, due to children  being born out of wedlock, as was the case prior to the 1980’s. Generally children are looked after because their families are unable to, for what ever reason. The reason is not always abuse. Often it is.

What cost do we put on keeping children safe? During the slashes in local authority spending, I believe that they will not move children, ‘just because they can’, away from an area the children know. There is a reason, there always has been a reason. I find it more difficult to understand when a child is ‘looked after’ just literally minutes from the home they had known, previously. I think that would make it more difficult for a child to see   their birth family on a day by day basis.

When the news continues and more information becomes available I may change my mind. So far, I am not convinced.



Hello World 2

Hello and welcome to my website!

I have resisted for some time to have a website and I feel now is the right time for me to begin.

Both Ian and Lynne of the soulerhealerwebsite were very helpful in producing the site and I thank them for support and patience during the building of the site.

I am hoping that as well as interested potential clients, this site will will informative for both qualified and trainee psychotherapists and counsellors.

I have linked it to my You Tube Channel, TheGestaltTherapy, so videos that I have produced and uploaded will also be shown here. Many thanks to Bob Cooke, as always, for his support and teaching whilst I decided how I wanted karenfburke.co.uk to work.


What is Psychotherapy?

I am often asked this question and find it often difficult to answer. Psychotherapy can be a life changing experience for many people, those who wish to change fixed habits or understand their behaviours.

It can be for personal or professional reasons that people enquire, however it is generally because they are unhappy with their lives, in some way.

Psychotherapy needs to be an investment by both the client and the therapist. It is only in that investment, of time, energy (and money!) that the process can begin. The therapist no matter how skilled cannot ‘do’ the work for the client. I do not use ‘big sticks’ to enforce change in my client and I know of no other ethical practitioner who could or would.

I believe there is a general process that clients experience when in therapy.

Initially there will be an urgent need to be ‘fixed’ or cured. It takes a while for the realisation that the work can be long, laborious and deep seated. If someone has lived their lives for thirty, forty years in a certain way, with fixed beliefs about themselves and the world, I’m unable to ‘magic’ the pain out of their lives. Often I wish I could and I don’t possess that ability.

There maybe a fear when they believe they are growing too reliant upon the therapist. There needs to be a ‘therapeutic alliance’ for the work to take place.

Often clients reach an ‘impasse’, the place of being ‘stuck’, it is there that the change occurs. (See my video on ‘the paradoxical theory of change’)

There will be times when clients have a ‘blip’, revert to old habits. This is a wonderful opportunity to practice, how to manage these blips, should they occur when they have left therapy. It also re-enforces the work  to date.

My vested interest is always to have the client having enough  self support to leave therapy, knowing and living with the change that has occurred.

What do other practitioners and clients think?


Karen F Burke 01.07.12