Managing the Project

Main principle : the project is working not on making money but on feelings :
if we miss them nothing can make for them.

Enforcement of the present guidelines : any person big or little is welcome to call attention on the breaking of a rule at any time : quality control can be exerted by everybody at all.

Decision making : is as much as possible a matter of consensus, everybody little or big can have one's say. Children's wishes are to be considered first because they are the main purpose of the place.

Responsibilities : everybody can take the responsibilities that they want to have and take a particular field of activity like book-keeping, car maintenance, growing the garden, outings, errands...

Meetings : attendance to them is optional but if someone is involved in a specific problem the person is needed. Children are always welcome except for the 4th kind.

1- daily meetings : every evening after dinner : to speak about what happened during the day, concerns, projects for the next day.

2- weekly meetings : on Saturday mornings, are for everybody for decisions about the place and for running the project.

3- immediate meetings or as soon as possible : when a serious problem arose or if a need for a discussion is felt by someone, to take the issue while it is  hot.

4- personal meetings : the founder Filip Marceron can meet on a one for one basis with any assistant who asks for it as much as necessary with the background of the classical psychoanalysis he did in Paris, France in the 1980's.

Flexibility : recognizing that each person is particular and that a person can change with time, flexibility is needed to allow the different needs of the different people little or big to appear. Once these needs are known, it is possible to organize on a more regular basis as long as these needs don't change, but especially for children their needs are supposed to change because we hope for them a success in therapy, so readjusting will be always necessary to follow each child's progress.
   Nevertheless, life at the place goes along some kind of routine like in any family and it is reassuring for the children to know that the events of the day are predictable, with each member of the household having ces own habits and preferences.
   The starting point is to provide each child with a diversity of options so that the child can choose what is best for ce at that time of ces life : whatever works best for a given child at a given time.

   The general flexibility for everyone's life is designed to encourage implementing an important condition for good mental and physical health : the possibility to act in accordance with one's feelings, emotions and needs, and not according to impersonal rules edicted by someone else than the person ceself.
   Freedom is a vital component for recovery because each child knows best what ces needs are as a unique individual, and therefore can find ces own arrangements to satisfy them in the best way possible.

Sincerity and openness of all should help clarify what each person, little or big, needs, and organize the place consequently to avoid interference between different persons' needs.
   In case of conflicting needs between two people, if problem solving techniques fail, children are given priority for satisfying their needs while adults can postpone satisfying theirs.
   Generally, a balance must be found with physical and emotional needs of the household : assistants' needs must not interfere with children' s needs and vice versa. Each person sees what ces needs are and ask others to treat ce accordingly. In this view, children must receive very careful attention because they might not be able to clearly express what they need : help must be provided to them to clarify what they want.

Participation of children : to encourage them and to try make for their lower level in speaking, children are given priority to speak first in meetings and are invited to do so also to help them build their sense of personal worth.
   Similarly, wherever it seems feasible, children are proposed to take any part that suits them like showing visitors around the place and participating in answering questions from visitors, and welcoming a new child or a new prospective assistant.

The lack of schedule is designed to encourage children to think as much as they need and talk with others according to their progression without being interrupted by planned activities : it must be always possible to leave a child alone and give ce all the time ce needs to think over facts of ces present or past life, or talk if ce feels a need to ask questions or have an individual session.
   Similarly, in the course of any activity assistants must be ready to interrupt what they are doing if a child asks attention (availability principle).
   Some children in their healing process may need to stay quiet and go at a slow pace because a heavy psychological work is being done in their mind and nothing must interfere with it : assistants must be attentive to propose activities gently and to not intrude in the course of the children' s thoughts. It may be that "the mere survival of another day with some semblance of dignity and self-worth evidences a herculean achievement" (J. A. Keene).

Empower the children : during each day, we have to strive to look for anything that can empower the children to restore them to the rank of persons. Flexibility and lack of preconceived structure is a permanent message intended to let them know that we wait for them to tell us what is the best we can do for them, because they know best what they need for curing. So we have to rely on them to guide us toward what they sometimes confusedly but desperately need.

A fair chance of personal cure and development is what managing the project must provide to everyone involved, little and big, and with emphasis on the fact that each person self-regulates ces own life.

Structure : thus at first glance the place may appear unstructured, but it is structured in fact by the will of the participants themselves, each as a definite individual, little or big, and according to ces changing needs. On the general guidelines of individual growth, mutual respect, non-ageism, non-sexism, each person determines ceself and the ways ce wants to spend ces day, for the best of ceself and consequently for the best of the project too.

rev. 2013