Dr Stephen Mills works part-time in a CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health) team with children in care and their professional networks, where he is developing an approach he calls COREL – Creating Opportunities for Reflection and Expansive Learning – based upon his doctoral research. As part of his CAMHS work, Stephen also facilitates groups for foster carers and special guardianship carers using the COREL model.
Stephen joined the doctoral team for our Advanced practice and research: systemic psychotherapy (M10) professional doctorate training in 2021.
His doctoral study, Constructions of the Child in Care: Generating Alternative Figurations of Children and Childhood in Care that may be Useful for Multi-Agency Network Practices , is focused on how care for children in the care system in England is constructed within language, practices, and discourses within professional care networks – networks made up of social workers, teachers, foster carers, and often CAMHS clinicians.
His study used post-colonial, new materialist, posthuman, feminist, and systemic methodologies, and proposes that opening up the care system’s assumptions to greater critical debate will generate more finely attuned care practices, broaden the knowledge base available (creating an ecology of knowledges rather than a hierarchy), and create significant opportunities for mobilising collaborative practice between professional network members.