ACADEMICS from universities across Japan visited Kibble’s residential and safe centre in Paisley to learn from the Scottish provider’s approach in care and education for young people.

Following the recent formation of The Japanese Society of Social Pedagogy, the professors have travelled to Europe to research how social pedagogy is accepted, promoted and practised in European countries.

Social pedagogy emphasises that bringing up children is the shared responsibility of parents and society, giving young people more control over their lives with care and education provided alongside them rather than directing them.

Jim Gillespie, chief executive of Kibble, said: "We were thrilled to host the professors who have come all the way from Japan to learn about how social pedagogy informs practice, and it’s our hope that the trip has been informative and helpful in shaping how services move forward.

"As a care, education and employment provider for young people, it’s vital that we share information, learning and experiences that will improve services across the world; likewise, we are always very eager to learn about best practice from our colleagues, to ensure the best quality of life for our young people."

This is the most recent of more than 40 visits by academics and other organisations in the previous last two years.

Visitors have come to Kibble from places like Australia, Azerbaijan, South Africa, USA and Japan, as well as from around the UK.

The professors travelled from Fukuoka Prefectural University in Tagawa, Kyusyu University in Fukuoka, Konan Women’s University in Kobe, and Iwate Prefectural University in Takizawa, with the hope of taking back to Japan ideas shared about the Scottish initiatives.

Professor Shigeyuki Mori, clinical psychologist from Konan University, said: "Currently in Japan, we have a system for teaching and a system for social work but there has been no social pedagogy system until now.

"While we have studied this type of care for some time, we were very interested to learn about the idea of implementing this within Japanese culture.

"We have a lot of residential placements for young people that will benefit from what we have learned.

"By visiting Scotland and other European countries, we’ve noticed many differences in the ways social pedagogy is practised varying on location, which we will consider among implementation across the many different regions of Japan.

"For extremely traumatised children, safety and care is not enough.

"Our visit to Kibble has been very beneficial to allow us to understand how we can introduce the approach within our services, learning from the young person’s response to care to provide more stimulus."