Welcome to
Our library

The articles and links included are relevant to work with children in public care and children who have experienced emotional trauma.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama

“The children who need love the most will always ask for it in the most unloving ways”

Russel Barkley
Click for source

Links to Pillars of Parenting articles and publications

‘A modest proposal to help looked after children’  – Colin Maginn (2020)
The Therapeutic Care Journal 1st April 2020 

“What’s love got to do with it? How to stabilise children in public care with cost-effective quality”

Colin Maginn (2019) Child and Youth Care July 2019 p 33-41

The Yellow Socks Theory and Evidence-based Practice for Children in Public Care. 1st June 2019

Empowering Residential Carers of Looked After Young People: The Impact of the Emotional Warmth Model of Professional Child Care

  • Dr Seán Cameron and Dr Ravi K Das (2019) British Journal of Social Work   

    Click below for abstract

  • Cameron, R.J. (2017) Child psychology beyond the school gates: Empowering foster and adoptive parents of young people in public care, who have been rejected, neglected and abused.  Educational and Child Psychology, 34 (3), pp.75-96.


    Aim: In this article, an applied psychology approach designed to support carers of looked-after children is described and its impact on these young people is evaluated.

    Rationale: Children and young people in public care are arguably the most vulnerable group in our society and despite considerable support and financial expenditure, their personal, social and wellbeing outcomes have remained stubbornly poor. In particular, school-based interventions have led to only slight improvements in attainment levels and these children still lag far behind their peers. The ‘Emotional Warmth’ model of professional child care was developed to empower residential carers and foster/ adoptive parents to understand and meet the often-complex needs of these children. In this article, the main components of the ‘Emotional Warmth’ model are described, the key role of the psychologist consultant is outlined and some input outcomes are considered.

    Findings: The results of a ten-month ‘Emotional Warmth’ project involving the foster and adoptive parents of fourteen children are presented. The analysis shows that significant positive change occurred in both the behavioural and affective measures (p less than 0.05).  These results are discussed, as are the serendipitous benefits for both the educational psychologist consultants and their local authority service manager.

    Limitations: Some methodological constraints are considered.

    Conclusions: It is argued that this model of professional child care can enable foster and adoptive parents to achieve positive outcomes for the young people in their care.

    Keywords: Children in public care; foster and adoptive parents; psychology-based interventions; group consultation; evaluating impact; improving outcomes for vulnerable children.

Theresa May referred for child neglect! 

‘Child protection referral: Parent too busy with work, neglects her children’

Colin Maginn, 12th February  2019 

  • A ‘what if’ article by Colin Maginn 

‘Good enough caring’ and how we can do much better!’

  • Colin Maginn, Dec 16, 2016 

    Issue 20 of the goodenoughcaring Journal

    Donald Winnicott is often quoted for his use of ‘good enough caring’ – in this article Maginn looks at his original work and finds that Winnicott was not offering a ‘good enough caring’ test, he was in fact advocating the need to ‘do better’. The short article then provides some pointers on how we could do better and takes advantage of the online journal media to offer one or two thought provoking links.


  • Maginn, C.  and Cameron R. J. (2013) The Emotional Warmth approach to professional childcare: Positive Psychology and highly vulnerable children in our society.  Publication date Jun 1, 2013 publication descriptionLondon: Springer

    This chapter by Maginn and Cameron published in June 2013 can be found in: Positive Psychology: Research , applications and interventions form children and adolescents


Living psychology: The ‘emotional warmth’ dimension of professional childcare

Educational & Child Psychology Vol. 28 No. 3 © The British Psychological Society, 2011

R.J. (Seán) Cameron & Maginn, C. (2011)


Children and young people in public care are arguably the most vulnerable group in our society and, despite considerable support and financial expenditure, the outcomes for these children have remained stubbornly poor. While the worthy intentions of government initiatives over recent years are not in question, it is clear that there is a need for a new theory-led, evidence-based model of professional care and support. This paper presents a psychological perspective which links early childhood experiences with restricted life outcomes. It argues that it is parental rejection (sometimes accompanied by abuse and neglect) which is a major mediating factor in the often-restricted life outcomes for many of these children. The ‘emotional warmth’ approach to professional childcare enables a visiting applied psychologist to empower residential and foster carers to provide high quality parenting, sensitive support for post-trauma

stress and a deeper understanding of the (often hidden) signature strengths of these children and young people. The inclusion of these three components in a support plan is likely to promote positive emotional, social and academic development of children in public care. The major role of the applied psychologist consultant in the emotional warmth model is discussed and appropriate outcome measures for this approach of childcare are considered.

‘Love resurrection

Colin Maginn  Young Minds Magazine – March  2011  

  • ‘Caring for looked-after children – Not the cost’

Colin Maginn 31 AUGUST, 2010 in Local Government Chronicle  


  • The Voice of Psychology

Colin Maginn (2009) The Psychologist Vol 22 September 2009   




  • Are Child Care Professionals and Teachers doing their jobs?

Colin Maginn (2006) Social Caring  27 March 2006  


If you have suggestions for links or articles or if you would like a link to your own publications, e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

Links to Web sites of interest (in no particular order)

  • Fosterline  0800 040 7675 


  • WHO (World Health Organization)                                                                                                             https://www.who.int/

WHO have published a new downloadable practical handbook on ‘SCHOOL-BASED
VIOLENCE PREVENTION’  24 June 2019                   

  • United Nations 


Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children     https://www.unicef.org/protection/alternative_care_Guidelines-English.pdf       

  • Nadine Burke Harris (a paediatrician) in this TED talk, links adverse childhood experiences (ACE) and toxic stress with harmful effects to health later on in life. 


  • What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.


  • Department for Education (U.K.)


  • Looked-after children and children in care (U.K. Government)


  • It is likely that there is a large undiagnosed group of children in public care who are affected by Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. The link to the site below, is for the FASD Network UK and is a great resource to learn about the disorder.


  • NICE  (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)


Looked-after children and young people  


Surveillance report 2017 – Looked-after children and young people (2010) NICE guideline PH28


  • Social Care Institute for Excellence 


This is a great source of information with reports and videos, two examples:


  • NHS England


  • Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland

This is a ‘must visit’ website for anyone involved with children in public care. 


  • Kate Cairns Associates

For exceptionally good e-learning


  • Young Minds


click here for the E-book from Young Minds:

‘Addressing Adversity’ Edited by Dr Marc Bush
Foreword by Sarah Brennan OBE 

  • The Children’s Society                                                                                                    https://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/
  • Social Market Foundation (London)


  • Royal College of Pediatrics 


  • University of Bristol 

    “Majority of looked after children and young people feel being in care has improved their lives”


  • CoramBAAF Adoption and Fostering Acamedy  


  • Citizens Advice – Children and local authority care


  • The Independent Children’s Homes Association


  • The Institute of Recovery from Childhood Trauma (IRCT)


  • National Children’s Bureau


  • The Attachment Research Community


  • “Become”  The charity for children in care and young care leavers


  • Research Gate


If you have suggestions for articles or would like a link to your own publications, e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

Links to Lemn Sissay’s work

I have used publicity on my artistic endeavours  to direct attention to my story.   I have done this  since leaving the care system at eighteen.  My sole mission was to find witnesses to the  institutionalised destruction of a child. And then to find my family. And then to seek redress.  But I could only do this when I left the care system at eighteen.  I had no family. I had no choice.” 

Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay’s Ted Talks 

  •  A child of the state

  • ‘When all you need is a hug: personal experiences of the UK care system’ Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay talking about his own experience as a child with staff in his first children’s home:  ‘This lack of instinctive knowledge …. that not being touched is emotionally violent to any child

  • Lemn Sissay’s blog


If you have suggestions for articles or would like a link to your own publications, e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

Links to Professor Martin Teicher’s work

Childhood maltreatment is associated with reduced volume in the hippocampal subfields CA3, dentate gyrus, and subiculum http://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/109/9/E563.full.pdf

The neurobiological consequences of early stress and childhood maltreatment https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e92a/f143699142759573938646ad6679f0740b89.pdf

Sticks, Stones, and Hurtful Words: Relative Effects of Various Forms of Childhood Maltreatment


Stress, sensitive periods and maturational events in adolescent depression. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ed77/ea1239b2399a53cd8dd2707fb76fc4104f0e.pdf

 Preliminary Evidence for Sensitive Periods in the Effect of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Regional Brain development 


Scars that won’t heal: The neurobiology of child abuse 



If you have suggestions for articles or would like a link to your own publications, e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

Links to Dr Bruce Perry’s Work

The Neurobiological Power of Play Using the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics to Guide Play in the Healing Process


The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics Bruce D. Perry Christine L. Dobson


The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics: An Interview with Bruce Perry https://childtrauma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/MacKinnon_AusNZJFamTher_2013.pdf

Integrating a Neurosequential Approach in the Treatment of Traumatized Children: An Interview With Eliana Gil, Part II https://childtrauma.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/FamilyJournal_Gil_2013.pdf

Link to Dr Perry on YouTube

If you have suggestions for articles or would like a link to your own publications, e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

Links to journals,  article and reports and one downloadable book *

  • Dr Patricia Crittenden

The Dynamic-Maturational Model of Attachment and Adaptation – Theory and Practice

* Downloadable book


(Click) Dr. Patricia McKinsey Crittenden – biography

Also by Dr Crittenden, the article below for useful insights into children’s self-protective attachment strategies:



  • CYC-Online

Child Youth and Care Network. This free open access monthly e-journal with interesting and informative articles every month.     


Seven International Ethical Principles for People Working with Children and Young People


  • Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care


  • The Therapeutic Care Journal 


  • Children and Young People Now


  • Community Care


  • Association of Directors of Children’s Services

‘A country that works for all children’ This report sets out children’s needs contrasted with the funding gap.  


  • All Party Parliamentary Group for Children 

Storing up Trouble – A postcode lottery for children’s Social Care (2018) 


No Good Options: Report of the Inquiry into Children’s Social Care in England (2017)


  • Demos report ‘In Loco Parentis’ (2010)


  • The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry


  • The Howard League for Penal Reform


  • Children’s residential care in England – Sir Martin Narey’s independent review of children’s residential care in England, and the government’s response.


  • Couldn’t Care Less – A policy report from the Children in Care Working Group – The Centre for Social Justice


  • Local Government Association report  – ’10 questions to ask if you’re scrutinising services for looked after children’


If you have suggestions for articles or would like a link to your own publications, e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

The Pillars of Parenting Ltd.,

Business & Innovation Centre,

Wearfield, Sunderland,  U.K.  SR5 2TA

e-mail colinmaginn@pillarsofparenting.co.uk

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Links to Pillars of Parenting articles and publications

“What’s love got to do with it? How to stabilise children in public care with cost-effective quality”
Colin Maginn (2019) Child and Youth Care July 2019 p 33-41