“One should teach children to dance on a tightrope without a safety net,
To sleep at night alone under the sky,
To row a boat out on the open sea.
One should teach them to imagine castles in the sky, instead of houses on the ground,
To be nowhere at home but in life itself
And to find security within themselves.”
Hans-Herbert Dreiske, Poet and Social Worker
At Lighthouse, we use social pedagogy as a base for our practice.
Social pedagogy is a holistic, multi-disciplinary, strengths-based approach focused on relationships, empowerment, learning and wellbeing.
There is no one consistent definition for Social Pedagogy. It is not a method, instead it acknowledges how our thoughts, feelings and actions are driven by our values. A helpful explanation for Social Pedagogy has been coined by Charfe and Gardener (2019) in their book “Social Pedagogy and Social Work”:
“it encourages us to acknowledge that the people we are working with have value and are equal human beings and that our relationships with them have to be based on equality, inclusion and true participation”
It starts with the belief that there is a ‘diamond’ of rich potential inside every child (see diagram by ThemPra (Eichsteller & Holthoff, 2012)), which can be developed and strengthened through authentic relationships and shared activities. It is a common foundation in services for children and families in continental Europe, but relatively new and unfamiliar to the UK.
There are a number of ways we will use social pedagogy in our homes:
Staff will be trained in a Level 5 Therapeutic Childcare course, supplemented by sessions in Social Pedagogic Principles. Lighthouse is a Bronze Member with the Social Pedagogy Professional Association (SPPA) and our Manager is a trustee for SPPA.