It is now clear that if professionals are to make a real difference for children and young people, they must be able to engage and communicate with children themselves, not just their parents and carers. Practitioners must be able to listen to children, support them, keep them informed, and fully involve them in matters which concern them. This timely book aspires to prepare social workers and other practitioners for this challenging set of roles and tasks. In particular, it aims to enthuse readers to develop the most powerful resource they have to offer in their direct work with children: themselves.
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.
Setting the scene; The importance of effective communication between children and young people and their social workers; Children and young people's views on what counts as effective communication with them; Some theoretical perspectives on the nature of communication; Communicative capability and how it might be achieved; Appraising capabilities and learning needs in communication with children and young people; Getting the context right for communication; Communication skills for assessment; Observing children and making sense of their play and behaviour; Communicating with children through play, activities and the expressive arts; Communication as the heart of social work.
'The engagingly well-written chapters and exercise boxes will draw you in and persuade you that really effective communication with and understanding of a child’s view of their world would make a difference to your practice.' British Journal of Social Work
"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
"Excellent text-will be key for all students." Nick Pike, Oxford Brookes University.