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(p. 23) Children’s Hostels in War and Peace 

(p. 23) Children’s Hostels in War and Peace
(p. 23) Children’s Hostels in War and Peace

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 18 September 2020

This essay considers Winnicott’s clinic at Paddington Green Children’s Hospital (a medical out-patient department) and describes how it has a proportion of cases needing hostel management. Two broad categories of such children exist in peacetime: (1) homeless children or those whose parents cannot form a stable background where a child can develop and (2) children with a mentally ill parent. Such children need what children who were difficult to billet needed: environmental stability, personal management, and continuity. Winnicott describes his work with the hostels, and the importance of finding a link between the child, the parents, and the hostel wardens. He regrets the closing of wartime hostels, causing the loss of accommodation for the early antisocial cases, and the current existence of practically no provision for mad children.

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