Presentation on theme: "Communicating with children and young people"— Presentation transcript:
1Communicating with children and young people Jo Fox BA, BSWConsultant Social Worker
2Learning objectivesTo understand the child & young person’s ability to contribute to communication through out the age groupsTo develop strategies to communicate with children through out the age groupsTo identify a range of practice tools that support communication with children and young people.
4What we need to understand about children How does this manifestAttachmentRegulationSelf EfficacyResilienceSense of selfOther mindednessAbility to make choicesOctober 2009
5Core building blocks of ARC AttachmentCaregiver affect managementAttunementConsistent responseRoutines and ritualsRegulationAffect identificationModulationAffect expressionCompetencyExecutive functionsSelf development and identityOctober 2009
6Child development in communication Understand the child’s developmental milestones, including their abilities and the range of communication at their commandThink about how their personality and learning style may affect their communication styleThink about the impact of the experience of abuse on a child
7Developmental changes in children’s understanding (Jones, David) Children’s general knowledge about the world is limited by experience.The ability to appreciate the nature of other people’s attitudes, thoughts and feelings, and to understand that these may differ from one’s own, comes in later childhood.Older children and adolescents have their expectations shaped by prior experience. They may therefore have fixed expectations about how people in authority might react to them (e.g. black teenagers’ expectations of the police).Younger children have not necessarily considered the consequences of describing adverse experiences to others. Older children may well have done so, or have attitudes already shaped by their own or others’ experiences.
8Developmental changes in children’s understanding Taken from Communicating with Vulnerable Children: A guide for practitioners by David JonesChildren’s general knowledge about the world is limited by experience.The ability to appreciate the nature of other people’s attitudes, thoughts and feelings, and to understand that these may differ from one’s own, comes in later childhood.Older children and adolescents have their expectations shaped by prior experience. They may therefore have fixed expectations about how people in authority might react to them (e.g. black teenagers’ expectations of the police).Younger children have not necessarily considered the consequences of describing adverse experiences to others. Older children may well have done so, or have attitudes already shaped by their own or others’ experiences.
9Try to avoid Close questioning Leading questions Suggestive questions Complicated questionsIntimidation through personal or environmental factors
10Kid talk Good at Poor at Feelings Personalising Imagining Understanding body languageAttributing other mindness accuratelyUnderstanding the nuances intellectuallyTimes, dates, spaceOctober 2009
11Ways to think about communication with infants Even though infants are non verbal they are strong communicators.When attempting to understand the world of the infant it is important to interact with the child – holding them, speaking to them, observing them being fed and bathed, watching their body responses in a number of different situations.
12Ways to think about communicating with toddlers Positive strategiesWatch forPlayPretendMake facesWatch body languageLook for explorative behaviourWhere do they feel safe?Exploring behaviourProximity seekingAwareness of themselves
13Ways to communicate with primary school kids 4 – 8 years Lots of drawingMake thingsPlay gamesUse picturesSand playDanceTell storiesDress upAvoid multiple or complex questionsGive them opportunities to talk in the third personLet them move around if they need too
14Ways to communicate with older kids - 8 up. Make comic strips togetherWrite playsUse technologyArt/story book journalsChart successGo slowlyMusic and words to favourite songsWrite things downAvoid talking down to themGive them space to consider their answersDo not over correct themAsk feeling questionsAnswer their questions honestly
15Ways to communicate with adolescents Pick a safe environmentBe clear about what will happen to the informationCheck if there are any no go areasExpect to be ‘played’Use Art and conversation togetherUse music and conversation togetherUse film and conversation togetherLet them writeShare your notesChallenge themUse feeling wordsMap progressGive them written informationMake plans togetherMeet them half way whenever you can
20Impact of adverse life experiences on ability to relate Slow to trust adultsDifficult to puts names to feelingsPoor historians – can’t remember factsOmit facts they think could be dangerous/riskyWant to pleaseSay what they think you want to hearPoor literacy and expressive skillsAttachment disorder can have a significant impact on successful relationship building and communication
21Time Time Time More than anything children and young people need time. Time to feel safeTime to get to know youTime to get to trust youTime to get to know themselves
22A belief in the futureChildren and young people need to know that telling their story can make a differenceIt must lead to improved outcomesFuture pull – offering children and young people hope and a belief in tomorrow
23Make a differenceUse the information that children give you to understand their world, their strengths, their worries and their dreams.Take that understanding and with the child make a plan to change their world into the one they need and wantThen take the journey with the child – it is not for the faint hearted or the careless – and see them to safety
24If you cannot do these things for the child then…. “Don’t Ask”
26A sample of research studies Taken from NCB training pack What Children Tell UsA sample of research studiesTaken from NCB training pack
27Studies to find out what children say Children Speak – Butler and Williamson, 1994Your Shout! – Judith Timms and June Thoburn, NSPCC, 2003Remember My Messages – Catherine Shaw, Who Cares Trust, 1998Start with the Child, Stay with the Child – Voice for the Child in Care, 2004Ask Us – Department of Health and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a project to find out the views of disabled children, 2002Local surveysDescription of the studies, methodology etc:Butler and Williamson – 190 children, contacts made via SSDs, interviewed in schools, youth clubs and children’s homes. 55% female, 0ver one third were BME, majority yearsYour Shout! – Main aim was to find out how children experienced the court system, decision-making within that context and participation in their own care plans. 706 children completed questionnaires distributed through the magazine Who Cares? Majority of sample aged years (72%), White British (86%), 60% femaleRemember my Messages – Aim was to find out more about how children experienced being looked after. 2,073 questionnaires returned – distributed through the Who Cares? Magazine, also directly through local authorities, child care charities, in-care groups, children’s rights offices. 55% female, 83% years, 85% White British, 12% disabled or long-term health problemStart with the Child, Stay with the Child – Project to establish a blueprint for a child-centred care system. Found out children’s views by a number of methods – questionnaire, group work, fun events and work with minority groups (ethnicity, mental health, asylum seekers). 400 children and young people involved, majority years. Age and ethnicity not recordedQP initiative
28‘They don’t really listen. And then they don’t believe you’ Butler and Williamson (1994) – Who do children talk to about their problems?Many young people had no trust in other people and the majority would talk first to someone within the family networkOver a quarter said they would talk to a friendA significant number had no trust in adult professionals‘They don’t really listen. And then they don’t believe you’
29Butler and Williamson – Young people’s view of social workers Lack of understanding ‘They don’t know nothing about what it’s really like for you’Impose their own views ‘They twist the story, then sort it out their way’Doubts about confidentiality ‘They spread things around: the whole world knows’Trivialise or overreact ‘Just because I put on a friendly face they don’t realise I want them to be serious with me’More quotes Pages of Butler and Williamson.
30Butler and Williamson – What do children want from professionals? Good listener – ‘not like a robot’Available – ‘not at lunch, off sick, on training’Non-judgemental and non-directive – ‘advice should be ‘maybe’ not ‘you must’ – give you choices’Humour – ‘someone you can have a laugh with’Straight talking – ‘not always what you want to hear’Trust and confidentiality – ‘consult before you spread things on’Break at this point to discuss in pairs, “Think of your last interaction with a child. How many of the points above did you fulfil?”
31Timms and Thoburn (2003) – What do children think of the court process? 66% said they had someone helpful to talk to through the process42% said they felt listened to in court55% did not get the chance to speak to the judge, and 21% would have liked toWhen asked who was helpful, social workers received the most responses (30%)‘I would like social workers to be a bit more alert and to hear what foster carers have to say and when they put down a time to come and see you they must try to make the effort and come’
32Shaw (1998) – What do children say about being in care? 49% said coming into care was confusing and scary, and 31% said it would have been easier if they had had more information47% said they had a lot of say in decisions about seeing their social workersAlthough 30% described themselves as lonely, 70% said they felt happy most of the timeHaving access to ‘someone special’ to talk to was strongly associated with a generally positive state of mindThere are lots of other statistics in this publication about a range of issues regarding being looked after. Those selected relate most strongly to the need for good communication with children.
33Relationships with professionals Young people said they would like to see professionals who are: – reliable – keep promises – provide practical help – take time to listen, and to respond – see their lives in the round, not just the problems‘I would have liked them to sit down with me and have a conversation for more than 15 minutes. Instead of telling me what they were going to do with my life, find out a bit more about me’Taken from Voice for the Child in Care (2004)Children want social work support that is:flexible;responsive;individualised/personalised;respectful of children’s views and wishes; andparticipative.Taken from Children’s experience and contact with social workers – report by CWDC 2010As with Remember My Messages (Shaw, 1998) there is more in this document regarding being looked after, but the selection shown here is based on the importance of establishing a good relationship with children in order to facilitate good communication.
34Voice for the Child in Care – Reviews Children and young people said they feel they are not involved in the conversation at reviews, it goes on around them, and is about them, but it doesn’t engage them ‘I was sitting in a room with about 15 people, all talking about me like they knew me. I’d never met any of them!’More of this on Page 50 of Start with the Child, Stay with the Child.Break for short discussion in pairs, “Think of the last time you let a child down by doing something that you knew they didn’t want, or something that didn’t work for them (even a simple thing like cancelling an appointment or being late). Discuss what happened, and what you could have done to prevent it”
35Ask Us (2002) – Views of disabled children We want what other children wantWe want to do what other children doWe want to go where other children goWe want to be respected We want to feel the same ‘buzz’ that other children feel
36‘I feel social workers come and go a bit quick. I don’t care anymore ‘I feel social workers come and go a bit quick. I don’t care anymore. My latest social worker, I’ve already been told he’s only temporary. If you know someone isn’t going to be around, you don’t bother talking to them’
37Websites that can help with communication Free Web Tools for Elementary Teachers - Classroom 2.0Lifeline Publications: Big Blue Book of SexNCB | Communicating With ChildrenWelcome to Youngminds — YoungMindsResilience in Children: Professor Brigid Daniel - Life Matters - 18 April 2006
38Websites that can help with communication Cafcass - Putting children first in family courtsYouthhood.org: NCSET's Web Site for YouthTheSite.orgSt Luke's Innovative Resources | seriously optimistic books and resources | Strength Cards for Kids, Kids' Skills and more.!
40Dalzell, R and Chamberlain, C (2006) Communicating with Children: A two-way process. Resource pack. London: National Children’s Bureau. Available fromDalzell, R and Sawyer, E (2007) Putting Analysis into Assessment. London: National Children’s Bureau.Department for Education and Skills (2004) The Common Assessment Framework. London: DfES.*Department of Health and others (2000) Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families. London: The Stationery Office.*Holland, S (2004) Child and Family Assessment in Social Work. London: Sage Publications.How it is (2002) London: NSPCC/Triangle*Hutton, A and Partridge, K (2006) Say it Your Own Way. Barnardo’s and DfES.*
41Jones, D (2003) Communicating with Vulnerable Children: A guide for practitioners. London: Gaskell. Lancaster, P (2003) Listening to Young Children. Maidenhead: Open University Press.*Lord Laming (2003) The Victoria Climbié Inquiry: Report of an Inquiry by Lord Laming. Norwich: HMSO.Melia, J (2005) Wavelength: A handbook of communication strategies for working with young people. Brighton: The Trust for the Study of Adolescence. *Myers (2001) In Safe Hands. A video resource and training pack to support work with young refugee children. Leicester: NSPCC National Training Centre.*NSPCC and University of Sheffield (2000) The Child’s World: Assessing children in need. Training and development pack. London: NSPCC.
42Quality Protects and Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2002) Ask US. Shaw, C (1998) Remember My Messages. London: Who Cares? Trust.Timms, J and Thoburn, J (2003) Your Shout! London: NSPCC.Two-Way Street, video and handbook (2001) Triangle.*Voice for the Child in Care (2004) Start with the Child, Stay with the Child. London: VCC.Young Minds: obtain information sheets from their website *Zeigler, R (1992) Home-made Books to Help Kids Cope. USA: Magination Press.*