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Model, E.E. (1983). Ruth Thomas 1902-1983: An Appreciation. J. Child Psychother., 9(1):5-6.

(1983). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 9(1):5-6

Ruth Thomas 1902-1983: An Appreciation

E. E. Model

Ruth Thomas, a foundation member of our Association and the Director of Training at The Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic from 1950 to 1976, died in a London Nursing Home on 4th April.

Her early life was spent in Australia, and after graduating in Psychology at the University of Sydney she was on the staff of a Teacher Training College in Perth for some time. In the nineteen-thirties, she came to London and taught at St. Gabriel's Teacher Training College in Camberwell. From there, she moved to the London Child Guidance Training Centre as a Commonwealth Fellow in Clinical Psychology. When the Clinic closed on the outbreak of war, she joined the staff of the Central Association for Mental Health as one of a group of skilled workers recruited by Dame Evelyn Fox to advise on the needs of children who, as a result of the war-time evacuation of our cities, were uprooted and separated from their families. Her work in this difficult and pioneering field included the setting up of a residential hostel for a group of difficult children. Her broadcast talks made during the war to “ordinary parents” were available as highly readable pamphlets for many years.

Ruth's valuable memorandum of evidence based on her war-time experiences was of significant influence when it was considered by the Home Office Report on the Care of Children Committee (the “Curtis Report”) in 1946. Twenty years later, in collaboration with Kenneth Brill, she published Children in Homes, a survey of the field of residential care which highlights the thought and effort needed to compensate the child for the loss of ordinary family life.

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