Communicating with Children and Young People: Making a Difference

Front Cover
Policy Press, 2010 - Social Science - 244 pages
"This is one of the best texts on this subject to emerge in recent years well written, scholarly with practice accounts that draw on Michelle Lefevre's direct experience. An essential text for all practitioners who encounter children and young people in their work."-Pam Trevithick, University of Bristol

"This highly readable book makes a valuable contribution to an important but undeveloped area of practice. It combines theoretical perspectives on the dynamics of communication with children with opportunities for application, reflection and evaluation of one's own practice."-Karen Tanner, Senior Clinical Lecturer in Social Work, Tavistock Clinic

Direct practice with children and young people has moved to centre stage in policy and practice within Children' Services. It is now recognised that if practitioners are to make a real difference to children and young people's lives, they must be able to engage, relate to, and communicate with children and young people themselves. Written by an experienced practitioner and educator, this timely textbook equips student social workers and other practitioners wishing to update their learning with the knowledge and capabilities needed for effective practice. Key skills, such as how to form relationships, understand non-verbal communication, break bad news and communicate within family groupings, are explored within the context of professional rotes and tasks such as assessment, involving young, people in decision-making and planning, and work with children in care.

The book uses a problem-based learning;approach underpinned by theoretical frameworks, research findings and the voices of children and young people. Practice vignettes encourage readers to consider how these skills can be used within a range of practice contexts, tailoring communication to children and young people's specific needs and experiences.

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1 Setting the scene
2 The importance of effective communication between children and young people and their social workers
3 Children and young peoples views on what counts as effective communication with them
4 Some theoretical perspectives on the nature of communication
5 Communicative capability and how it might be achieved
6 Appraising capabilities and learning needs in communication with children and young people
7 Getting the context right for communication
8 Communication skills for assessment
9 Observing children and young people and making sense of their play and behaviour
10 Communicating with children and young people through play activities and the expressive arts
11 Communication as the heart of social work practice

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About the author (2010)

Michelle Lefevre is Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Sussex and has extensive experience of working as a social worker and arts psychotherapist with children and young people. She is the co-editor of the BAAF anthology Direct Work; her doctoral research considers how best to teach social workers how to communicate with children, and she has co-authored a Knowledge Review for SCIE on this topic.

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