Involvements, Outreach, and Contributions to the field
The Archive and Study Centre was established by the Trustees in 1989 as an extension of the philosophy and practice of therapeutic communities: as an engaged and engaging resource, to be changed and shaped by the communities it served while involving itself with and contributing to their development and growth.
While asking it to take in archive and museum objects, build the library, develop an oral history programme, and provide an information service, the Trustees also asked the Archive and Study Centre to take on a more actively involved and supportive role: to build networks, initiate and join collaborative projects, host and organise conferences and seminars, commission and publish writing, and generally find ways of actively putting the Trust's resources and experience to work to serve the wider community. This section is an introduction and guide to some of those projects, past and ongoing.
There is a significant change from the early 2000s when - following the international downturn in investment income following 9/11 and the high costs of building and furnishing the new facilities which opened in 2002 - the Trust's finances became tighter. Archive staffing and budget levels were cut, and to continue to grow and develop new ways to serve the community, new partnerships were formed. From this came the Therapeutic Community Open Forum (TC-OF) and RadioTC International; the Institute for the History and Work of Therapeutic Environments (IHWTE); the Child Care History Network; and ultimately the "Therapeutic Living With Other People's Children: An oral history of residential therapeutic child care c. 1930 - c. 1980" project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund; among others.
The exploration and development continue. How can history and memory be put to use for the benefit of stronger communities? We welcome your help and ideas.