Tuesday, 19 September 2017


Children who are in need of assistance with their concerns require it from grown ups who can 'be there' for them ONE HUNDRED PERCENT - and with NO BUTS 

CUSTTAD may not always achieve it but it has been devised to get as close as possible to providing as much as possible of what children need

The CUSTTAD TRAINING has also been devised to produce workers who are well prepared to 'be there' for children - with as few buts as possible 

We think that the training is demanding of a trainees time, energy and commitment There are several assignments which take a lot of effort and dedication At interview and on the various CUSTTAD sites information can be seen which cautions prospective trainees about attempting to take on other courses and commitments while doing the course 

If you are taking part, about to take part or are considering taking part in the training these comments are posted as a CAUTION

Those of us who have developed CUSTTAD do not have much tolerance for anyone who does not intend to take on this approach with as much care and attention as the training requires: i.e. the same kind of care and attention which children will receive from you - if you have given the training your best shot 

Saturday, 16 September 2017


TRAINEES are advised to regularly check on this site at CUSTTAD CENTRAL www.custtadcentral.blogspot.co.uk It is a site which can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, at any time and is being used to provide news and information of a general kind

It is also used occasionally to post information for CUSTTAD TRAINEES and CUSTTAD WORKERS

The site ON THE CUSTTAD TRAIN www.onthecusttadtrain.blogspot.co.uk is being used for TRAINEES ONLY  The information on there is restricted to anyone who is, or has taken part, in the CUSTTAD TRAINING PROGRAM

Those workers who have been selected to take part in the training require an invitation to access the site. To become an invited reader TRAINEES are required to obtain a google email address The link to do this is https://accounts.google.com/SignUp

Once you have obtained your google email address it should be sent, along with your name, to custtad@aol.com An invitation to sign in to the site will then be provided

Wednesday, 6 September 2017




Training for Group Two will take place at Burgh Primary School  

The first two training days will be on Monday September 18th and Tuesday September 19th with the third training day taking place on Tuesday September 26th 2017

The sessions, on each of the three days will be from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 12.30.p.m. to 2.30 p.m. approximately.

Please bring lunch with you
Tea and coffee will be provided
A book will be required in which to take notes.

Trainees are also reminded that an A4 display folder with at least 20 pockets will be required at a later stage of the training

Further information for TRAINEES will be posted on the site at www.onthecusttadtrain.blogspot.co.uk

Friday, 25 August 2017


This book is a follow up to BALANCING THE REQUEST TO BE GOOD and it can be purchased as a Kindle Book at a cost of £3.18 at 

It is also available as a printed book at 


Copies of BALANCING new and second hand are available on AMAZON and other on line sites 

CUSTTAD also has some new copies which, if you use Paypal, can be sent to you for £10 each - including postage To order a copy please send your request and your address to custtad@aol.com 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017


Much has been written about CUSTTAD and most of it has been by me BUT, as I think about it today, I am hoping I have always omitted to make any specific claims about what CUSTTAD is capable of achieving for a child

The only acceptable claims would be those made by of a child who had spent time in a CUSTTAD ROOM and, unsolicited, had commented positively on the experience

And if anyone coming across this work for the first time is wondering what CUSTTAD is about, the following comments - which have been made often - get close They have been taken from a paper entitled THE LIMITED AIMS OF CUSTTAD 

'In our view Custtad's central task is to provide and maintain the conditions in which children feel as supported and comfortable as possible about sharing any concerns they might have - if and when they feel able or inclined to share them

BUT there is an important qualification: if children on a visit to a CUSTTAD facility choose merely to explore their ideas and concerns without sharing anything then that would also be an acceptable outcome- with whatever gains the child might make being theirs alone to contemplate. 

The bottom line in this work has always been to provide children with an opportunity to be constructively creative in a pleasant, well resourced and ordered environment.

I need to say more about that qualification It may seem like just a difference in emphasis but it is much more a difference in ethos The aim and purpose of the facility is NOT to probe or press to access any concerns a child may have but to CREATE A SETTING in which things can be shared if the child is so minded'

Sunday, 9 April 2017


1. Find out all you can about the approach on-line (e.g. google Custtad) and if you know anyone who has trained or has had experience of the approach  - ask them about it.

2. Check out all the information that is available on the various Custtad web sites sites As indicated at the top of this page the main ones are this one at www.custtadcentral.blogspot.co.uk  www.themakingofcusttad.com and www.custtad.blogspot.co.uk

3. Take on board that for the duration of the course you will be expected to complete the assignments and practice sessions with a focused dedication and commitment

4. When you have found out all you can, ask yourself if this approach is the right one for you and if you will have the time and energy to do it well

The comments which follow may assist you in answering that question

Those of us who have been responsible for the development and
implementation of Custtad would like this information to be helpful to anyone who is considering taking part in the training program

And it would be fair to say that we can be very firm about what we expect of anyone who chooses to do so

There are many reasons for this but perhaps the only important one is this. Based on our experience we know how easily its integrity can be jeopardized. Not because of any malicious intent, merely because the practices and
procedures which we believe 'work' are not carried out with sufficient care

And this results in children not receiving the kind of support and assistance they need if - and it is a big if -they choose to make use of the approach. For be absolutely clear about this. Custtad can be defined in all sorts of ways but an essential ingredient is that any child using the approach will be doing so because they have chosen to do so
It could be described as by invitation only

This is a fundamental feature of the approach and as some workers with children are not comfortable with that concept it is important to consider whether this might apply to you There is a lot more about this subject on the course

We also strongly advise that anyone coming on the course is clear in their own minds whether, as their educational career unfolds, they will want to develop their skills and expertise in dealing with the family aspects of their work or if they are more interested in working with individual children. Of course one might choose to develop both but for the duration of the training - and later in relation to school duties and responsibilities - it is better to know the direction in which you want to travel.

We have sometimes illustrated the importance of this by describing the following school situation

It concerns a child who for many months, perhaps even years, has been holding on to experiences which have been causing him or her much concern And sometimes these concerns are directly related to their family situation
Loyalties to the family may feature but there might also be reasons to be frightened of the consequences if they choose to bring those concerns to a Custtad worker

And before continuing it also needs to be known that, although a child would be in a Custtad facility only if they chose to be there, the invitation would be dependent on the school having first received the agreement of their parent/

In this story then, a child has responded positively to an invitation, has visited a Custtad facility and is contemplating letting it be known what has been troubling them. However, in the days ahead of their next visit to the facility they see
their Mum or Dad having a conversation with the Custtad worker e.g. in the playground

Now this could obviously be about the weather but there is a possibility of it being misconstrued by the child in a way which would cause them to have second thoughts. And, as we know from experience, many children (and grown ups) find it extremely difficult to share any significant concerns they might have

So, if and when they are 'ready', nothing - absolutely nothing at all - should add to that difficulty

We therefore recommend that the approach works best in a school if the Custtad worker is known and experienced as the person who meets with children in the Custtad room - and not as someone who also has responsibilities for working with their family

There will be more information posted on this site in future In the meantime if you have any questions please email custtad@aol.com and we will respond as soon as possible

Saturday, 8 April 2017


The boy in the photograph is one of the first of many children who set CUSTTAD on the path to becoming what it now is

In a previous post I said that I was waiting for permission to upload a photograph of him He has now given me that permission and to him I say Haw'aa 

Below is the photograph - which I love - for many reasons It was taken during my working days in a Nursery school on Haida Gwaii