Commissioner praises atmosphere of happinessType: News
Topic: Camphill | Disability rights
Community: Camphill School Aberdeen
Published on: 21st May 2018
As part of Camphill School Aberdeen’s 70th year celebrations of St John’s school, the School was glad to welcome Bruce Adamson, Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland, and his team, who visited Camphill School Aberdeen last week.
The Commissioner and his team were met by Alex Busch, Executive Director of Camphill School Aberdeen, Stuart Provan, Chief Executive Officer of Ochil Tower School and by Neil Henery, Director of Camphill Scotland. He was received at Camphill House, the place where the Camphill movement began in 1940.
Support for out of area placements
We were grateful for the chance to show the Commissioner what the School and Camphill more widely has to offer, bringing a truly person-centred approach to every child, adult and older person who lives and works in our communities. We also wanted to invite the Commissioner to look at the question of ‘out of area placements’. We were concerned that sometimes the rights of the child to have their needs come first could be neglected in decision making processes. We heard from parents who told the Commissioner about their battles with the local authority to find a place outside the boundaries of that authority. We also heard from Ochil Tower School about similar pressures facing some children at Ochil Tower School.
Neil Henery, Director of Camphill Scotland, commented
We were delighted that the Children’s Commissioner was able to hear from parents directly and painfully affected by the issue of so-called ‘out of area placements’. We look forward to working with him further to find ways that children and families get the support they need to have their rights respected.
Praise for Camphill approach
During the tour, the Commissioner learned more about Camphill School Aberdeen’s ethos, which is focused on valuing individual potential, respecting differences and promoting positive relationships between people. Alex Busch explained that the approach is fundamentally holistic and strength based in that it addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of children and young people through the provision of a therapeutic environment and practice; their intention is to facilitate growth and development by working collaboratively with children, young people, their families and other agencies/professionals to bring about change.
Following the visit, Alex noted that
In line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child [Bruce] praised our family environment and the atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.