Direct work with children: Hearing the voice of the child – 2 days


Research tells us that listening to children can help protect them more effectively and to help them heal following trauma or abuse (Munro 2011; Lefevre, 2011; Turnell, 2008; Littlechild, 2000). Whilst many workers report they lack the confidence and skills to communicate well with all groups of children in all scenarios (Luckock et al, 2008), many children do report positively about their social workers (Morgan, 2006). We also know that serious case reviews often have a common thread of the child not being listened to or their world understood (Laming, 2009; Brandon et al, 2009).


The aim of the course is to build knowledge, skills and confidence for social care staff to communicate, listen and involve children in direct work and decision-making.

Learning Outcomes:

Participants will be offered the opportunity to:

  • Learn from research and serious case reviews about the benefits of direct work and listening to children.
  • Understand the legal requirements for direct work and listening to children.
  • Explore challenges to communication with disabled or BME children.
  • Explore own strengths and approaches to direct work through case reflection.
  • Try out the use of empathy and advanced observation skills to help understand the world of very young children (under 5’s).
  • Explore the use of different tools and techniques to hear the voices of children and aged 5-13.
  • Learn appreciative questions to help direct work with young people.
  • Learn about the Draw and Write approach to help inform and explain things to children and young people in difficult situations.
  • Test out a model for reflection and supervision to embed direct work approaches in practice.