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==Strategy Overview ==
==Strategy Overview ==

Revision as of 19:36, 24 December 2005


Towards a Communication Strategy for the Therapeutic Community Open Forum (TC-OF)


Strategy Overview

This Strategy outlines the action required to promote TC-OF as a major asset to people involved in therapeutic communities, and other social learning ventures worldwide.

About TC-OF

TC-OF was created on December 1st 2004 as an open group for anyone interested in Therapeutic Community worldwide. It is the successor to the ATC list created by Chris Evans on July 26, 1996. Whilst created for and under the auspices of the British-based but international Association of Therapeutic Communities (ATC), the Planned Environment Therapy Trust (PETT), the Community of Communities (CoC) and the Charterhouse Group of Therapeutic Communities (CHG), it is not restricted to members of those organisations and actively encourages worldwide membership.

Challenge Statement

Therapeutic Communities (TCs) are in the main isolated from mainstream services, often under funded, undervalued and hence often marginalised. Some staff or professionals within TCs are under trained and some are undisciplined. Others are gifted visionaries with much to offer. Few however are prepared for the political context in which they survive. Different philosophies underline the history of TCs with major differences emerging adding to the undervaluation. In recent years with the concentration on standards some TCs are becoming more viable and accepted. The majority of studies of worth underline the effectiveness of TCs but these are not readily available to those who core fund TCs or fund placements within TCs. Despite the presence of the Association of Therapeutic Communities the quality of networking and alerts between them is at a very low level. They have little or no way of communicating concerns, best practice and experience.

TC-OF has only 110 members many inherited from the old list and for a few including ex-residents and carers it has been a lifeline. As an email group it has quite a few international members outside of the UK. Some of these have been pioneers who have retained an interest into retirement and others are current pioneers and students. Very few of the TCs in the UK are members. The technical support of TC-OF is handled by volunteers and is reliant on their skills. The current technology is Yahoo Groups and this has been augmented by a web site with extensions but there are current developments to open a Wiki site, a bulletin board and an email list with an integrated database.

Apart from word of mouth/ email and personal contacts there has been no attempt to promote the existence or development of TC-OF. This is underlined by the lack of a clear statement as to the remit, purpose and development potential of TC-OF. Recent developments such as the Moderators Group have surfaced the need to promote and develop TC-OF.

What could TC-OF be?

  • A network of therapeutic communities and social learning projects worldwide
  • An educational resource for those involved.
  • A history resource
  • A supportive network for those using the services
  • A supportive network for carers and supporters of those using the services.
  • A staff support network to share ideas, experiences and practical solutions that worked or not
  • An event sharing resource.
  • A repository for online research
  • An information database of TC and Social Learning Projects
  • An information database for those seeking placements
  • Links to other important research, informational or educational resources
  • All of the above? And More?

Clearly such a development in a short timescale would take more resources than currently available. However if we took small steps towards achieving some of the objectives outlined above then true progress could be made. A lot of work is currently available and could be merged into such a vision. Also if it is set up under the self help principle as in Wiki with the full co-operation of other agencies, then the burden could shift over time.

Different people would be obvious leads for different aspects of the development and we could appoint moderators/ enablers with project responsibilities to report back to the Moderators Group.

There would be important principles to discuss such as

  • Defining membership only areas as well as open areas
  • The level of anonymity permissible in membership areas
  • Group confidentiality in membership areas.
  • Cyberlibel and the role of moderators
  • The rules of group chats.
  • Dealing with members who abuse the service.
  • How is it all resourced?
  • And a whole lot more.

Breaking it all down into manageable chunks.

This is the art of making it doable.

Objective 1 Getting the technology to work and be useful.

Objective 2

Objective 3

An example table
First header Second header
upper left

right side

lower left lower middle
A table in a table
Personal tools
radioTC international
what else is here?