Care, Page 3 - Kibble, A Lasting Legacy. Residential, secure, education, fostering, social enterprise, training for young people and youths.



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Development of Through and After Care

The development of formal through and after care was a lengthier and more gradual process, as highlighted in minutes of Approved Schools Association meetings. These minutes document the heavy workload of After Care Officers and the Association’s calls for recruitment of more officers and a more highly structured system of after care. Concerns were raised at the Association’s Annual General Meeting in 1935 that aftercare visiting could not be carried out efficiently ‘unless and until an adequate staff is provided in each school’. However, concern was still being expressed as late as 1952 at the ‘serious overloading of the Welfare Officers’.

Alex Calder, Welfare Officer

Alex Calder, Welfare Officer

Alex Calder, a Welfare Officer at Kibble between 1961 and 1969

As early as 1932, the Association members expressed the view that home conditions and environment ‘play a very material part in the welfare and conduct of ex-pupils’ and that their after care could be improved by the provision of grants to provide food and clothing for ‘deserving, necessitous cases’. Subsequent moves to develop liaison and collaborative working between the Probation Service and Welfare Officers from 1954 were welcomed unanimously by all parties.

Alex Calder, a Welfare Officer at Kibble between 1961 and 1969 went on to become a Social Worker. His memories illustrate the increasing emphasis placed on boys’ home conditions and its significance to their development and care planning. He also provides a further example of unofficial staff efforts to support families:

‘I used to carry out home visits to see what sorts of home the boys came from and in the evenings I would get help from my brothers to take furniture to them that they perhaps needed. The furniture would come from family and friends of mine that had no use for it any more.’

(Alex Calder, Interviewed 2nd July, 2008)

Kibble Centre, present day

Kibble Centre, present day

Main reception of the Kibble Centre, as it looks today.

Development of Psychological Service

Implementation of specialised psychological services in the Approved Schools system was also a lengthy process. There was recognition of the need for such services as early as 1947; however the first dedicated Approved Schools’ Educational Psychologist was not appointed until 1952. This service was expanded in 1961 with the appointment of two regional psychologists, followed shortly afterwards by a third. Robert Vallance was appointed as Area Psychologist for West of Scotland Approved Schools in 1961, having worked previously in Polmont Borstal. Robert was based at Kibble but had responsibility for Psychological Services in all Approved Schools in the West area, giving him a unique overview of all of the schools in his designated area and the differences in how they operated. Some, for example, were more liberal in their approach than others. Robert recalls that Kibble’s Headteacher at that time, Peter Gardner, was mixed in his approach: partly “old school” whilst having the ambition to be as modern as he could. One of the aspects that Peter was keen on was ensuring that boys were provided with proper clothing to wear when they went out on leave.

As well as variations among schools in his area, Robert identified differences between Scottish and English approaches to Psychological Services:

‘There were psychologists worked in the English Approved Schools Service, which was attached to the Home Office, but all the input from psychologists in the English service was at the assessment side. In England a child went to what was called an Assessment Centre first and then, after a fortnight’s assessment, he was allocated to what was called a Training School. Our two inspectors, Mr Petrie and Mr McPherson, didn’t like that idea at all because with all the input being at the assessment side all the expertise went into the assessment report, and they discovered that nobody read them. Each Training School liked to deal with the child as they found the child and they often deliberately avoided reading the case notes, because they thought the case notes were biased by…you know…the police or Probation Officer, etc. So when it came to introducing psychologists to the Scottish system, they both thought it was important that the psychologists were to be involved in the actual training side of the regime. So it was set up that we would visit schools regularly and get involved in the whole aspect of the regime in each school.’

(Robert Vallance, Interviewed 15th June, 2005)

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