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What Children Tell Us A sample of research studies
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Studies to find out what children say Children Speak – Butler and Williamson, 1994 Your Shout! – Judith Timms and June Thoburn, NSPCC, 2003 Remember My Messages – Catherine Shaw, Who Cares Trust, 1998 Start with the Child, Stay with the Child – Voice for the Child in Care, 2004 Ask Us – Department of Health and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a project to find out the views of disabled children, 2002 Local surveys
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 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 network Over a quarter said they would talk to a friend A significant number had no trust in adult professionals ‘They don’t really listen. And then they don’t believe you’
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Butler 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’
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Butler 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’
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Timms and Thoburn (2003) – What do children think of the court process? 66% said they had someone helpful to talk to through the process 42% said they felt listened to in court 55% did not get the chance to speak to the judge, and 21% would have liked to When 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’
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Shaw (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 information 47% said they had a lot of say in decisions about seeing their social workers Although 30% described themselves as lonely, 70% said they felt happy most of the time Having access to ‘someone special’ to talk to was strongly associated with a generally positive state of mind
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Voice for the Child in Care (2004) – Relationships 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’
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Voice 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!’
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Ask Us (2002) – Views of disabled children We want what other children want We want to do what other children do We want to go where other children go We want to be respected We want to feel the same ‘buzz’ that other children feel
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 Local information Surveys, group work Benefits in finding out what children in your area think The process itself raises awareness Involve practitioners and managers and YOUNG PEOPLE
Communicating with Children © National Children's Bureau 2006 ‘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’
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