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Finding the diamond

What is social pedagogy?

Social pedagogy is St Christopher’s core philosophy of care. Put simply, this is a holistic approach that centres around building positive relationships with young people to bring out their full potential and find their “inner diamond”.

We have been evolving our use of social pedagogy over a number of years – from developing homes using a socially pedagogic approach to training staff and foster carers across all of our services. Now, we are experts in using this approach in a variety of children’s social care settings.

'Staff have always been there. They don't take stuff personal and just keep trying to show me how I am good and help me achieve stuff.'
Carly, young person living with St Christopher's

How does social pedagogy work?

Our practice is based on the head, heart and hands approach:


We learn and develop as equals alongside our young people. Our understanding of attachment theory and therapeutic ways of working mean we can design bespoke care plans for every young person we work with.



We use our emotional intelligence and relational skills in our reflective practice to help us develop relationships with young people, their families and our colleagues. Young people say that staff now understand them better, which means they can trust them more.


Creative, practical activities empower young people to learn, develop and heal from previous trauma. Young people are allowed to do things for themselves and learn from the experience, even if that means making mistakes along the way.

'The staff have been really good at building a relationship with him and supporting him. They worked really hard at engaging him; it wasn't easy but they stuck with it.'
Ofsted report

"For a child in care to be prepared to engage with you shows so much more resilience"