Children Don’t Grow in Boxes… They Thrive in Communities!

Childrens’ Quarter Members and guests meet at SENTRE Childcare, Erdington, Birmingham B23 7EY on Thursday 23 March.

Members will be sharing news and information about new, inclusive services that work on the basis of what children and young people can do – rather than what they can’t.  Hosts SENTRE will be talking about their approach.  And there will – as always – be opportunities for collaboration and cooperation.  We’ll be joined by guests from organisations that are managing bits of funding from statutory bodies that are starting to understand that defining children and young people in terms of what they suppose are their boundaries doesn’t work.  Children don’t grow in boxes; but they thrive in communities!

Guests include representatives from:

Landau Limited – the charity managing All Age Autism grants of £5k-£20k to small voluntary and private organisations in Birmingham and Solihull. They aim to foster support services that enable autistic people, parents, families and unpaid carers to develop skills and confidence, reach their full potential and live independently.

Birmingham Children’s Trust Short Breaks – services that provide support for the carers of disabled children which allow young people to spend time away from their families, have
fun, develop skills and make friends. Birmingham Children’s Trust is a direct provider of residential short breaks and commissions other organisations in the city to provide
community based opportunities.

Street Games is commissioned by Birmingham City Council to run Bring it On Brum – Birmingham’s Holiday Activities Fund programme which uses government money to fund holiday clubs for disabled and disadvantaged children and young people including through CQ’s Fit for All programme.

SENTRE Childcare is located at Action Indoor Sports (previously Stockland Green Leisure Centre) adjacent to The Pines School, Marsh Hill, Stockland Green B23 7EY. The meeting starts at 11am and will last until about 12.30pm for light refreshments.

Enquiries and Book Spaces at the Meeting by email or fill in the form below and press SUBMIT:



Defining people in terms only of our needs, is to see us as ‘faulty products’ – deficient and limited.

This has sadly been the way children and young people have tended to be judged by public services; in terms of tick boxes.  When Children’s Quarter launched in 2017, we said ‘Children Don’t Grow in Boxes’.  We meant: defining children in terms of negatives is what disables them; limiting what they can do is what stops them growing.  We include not just children and young people with additional needs, but ALL children and young people in this.  There are many ways in which young people are disabled: through poverty; through neglect; through abuse; and wherever there is discrimination and prejudice.

Disability has nothing to do with wheelchairs or white sticks and is everything to do with an attitude of mind that says ‘Some people are less valid, less human than we are’.

This disabling approach is still widespread in a lot of public and voluntary services.  There has been progress; the approach is being questioned in some parts of government, council and NHS services.  More of them talk about coproduction – although there isn’t much evidence they understand it in practice as anything more than more ‘user consultations’.  Some, however, have started to fund community-based alternatives – including the kind of groups that CQ brings together.  This meeting is part of looking forward to more public services based on the understanding that children thrive in communities.


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