Leaping Forward in early child and family support # 8: Developing political maturity in the professional body

Do we ignore politics because we are too comfortable and safe?

I argued in Leaping forward #7 that the persistent downgrading of the family body is a political issue and that such conferences as Portugal 25 could start to improve the situation across the world.

Another massive political issue for us is the maiming, blinding, poisoning and traumatising of children in conflict zones. I like to think Portugal 25 is planning to address this in the context of the current Gaza war. How many children are we talking about? In the case of Gaza, all surviving children are crippled physically and/or emotionally, and Gaza is only one of many conflict zones in which children are mere collateral damage, alive or dead.

While early support in one city is helping a hundred children learn to walk, in another city there are a thousand children having their legs blown off, while hundreds ‘here’ are being helped with emotional and social development, thousands of others ‘over there’ are being traumatised, emotionally stunted and perhaps orphaned. Getting effective and timely treatment to all these children is impossible.

It will be a sign of political maturity in the early support professional body when it raises its voice against this futility. Of course this will not stop the horrors. But who else will speak up for these children? Who else has the expertise in child development? Who else can report authoritatively on the life-long damage being inflicted on multitudes of our children?

That is another required stage in political maturity – to stop thinking of ‘our’ children and ‘their’ children.

At the moment, when the early support professional body speaks, it does so with a very quiet voice. So quiet, that the general public is almost unaware of its existence and of the good work it does. Perhaps we worry that speaking up for our children everywhere will take us out of our comfort zone.

If Portugal 25 opts to turn a blind eye to this mangling of babies and children, we should all weep. I feel sure it won’t. There are many world organisations that could be invited to lead discussions.

When the early support professional body finds its political and public voice there will be a great leap forward for the benefit of all our children. This will be a step forward in our humanity.

Peter Limbrick, March 2024

A related article from TAC Bulletin in 2012:


share your information  Cartoon © Martina Jirankova-Limbrick 2011