In 2019 Louise Wallwein MBE gave a key note speech to the SIRCC Conference. Louise Wallwein is a published poet, playwright and participation artist. Using all of her experience, Louise highlighted themes within the speech relating to the role of practitioners both in residential and child care settings, records for children and young people, the need for a sense of connection and where the focus of attention should be in relation to our children and young people
Within this, Louise covered many pertinent issues being aware that the Independent Care Review was being undertaken at that time in Scotland, although The Promise was not published until February 2020.
Five short clips have been extracted to support reflection individually and/or discussion in your Service.
The image of a lighthouse has been used in a number of child care responses in relation to recovery services and projects to support children who have experienced different forms of harm. In this clip, Louise gives her own reflections as to how residential practitioners can be a 'lighthouse' for children, young people and their families.
'A guiding light may be needed as "when trauma comes back the lights go out'
In this clip Louise highlights, using her own experience, the impact of not having a shared history with someone else in "being a stranger everywhere"– and when there is a record of her experience– the impact of how this has been written.
In this clip, Louise raises issues in the balance of decision making and when this shifts to the child in need of protection to the young person who is perceived to be a risk. Further to this, the responses that are given as a result.
The question surfaces as to whether young people are having ordinary responses to extraordinary experiences.
Louise discusses her experiences of the need for someone to have a shared history with who 'sees' you and supports with a sense of identity
‘We are not family, we are familiar’
Within this clip, Louise talks about conditional 'appropriate' relationships, the impact of waiting to move in 'constant transition' and relationships being time limited. Louise also makes a connection with the impact on the future adult self
Louise is a renowned and award-winning poet, playwright, and performer from Manchester, who is known as an explosive artist who 'detonates her audiences' imaginations'. Brought up in 13 different children's homes in England, Louise wrote her first play at the age of 17. Louise's career took off in 1998 and her plays have been broadcast by the BBC, graced the stage of the Sydney Opera House, Royal Exchange, and Contact Manchester. Louise has made 20 films with young people around the UK and continues to be in demand from artists, supporting them with mentoring.