'Listening to children' is one of those feel-good phrases that always features in childcare literature as if it were self-evidently a good thing. Often, however, there is a lack of critical attention to what it really means: How does one listen? How can one evidence that listening has taken place?
Starting with an introduction to the policy and practice of listening to children and young people, both individually and in groups, this practitioner's guide provides a range of practical techniques for effective listening, encompassing observation and communication, seeing things from the child's point of view, explaining difficult concepts, helping young people to talk about their experiences and express their feelings, promoting participation and eliciting their wishes and views. The book is peppered throughout with good practice checklists, good practice examples, reflective exercises and quotations from children, as well as case studies showing real situations where effective communication has been established with a child.
Listening to Children: A Practitioner's Guide is a rich source of insight and guidance for professionals working with children in the fields of social care, health and education, including child welfare protection, pastoral care, educational psychology and counselling, and indeed for anyone working with children.
Alison McLeod, PhD, BA, PGCE, CQSW, has over 20 years' experience of working with children and families as a teacher, social worker, social work manager, trainer and consultant. She was previously Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Cumbria, and is now an Honorary Research Fellow.
First Words. Part I. The Voice of the Child. 1. Why Listen to Children? 2. Children's Rights Through History. 3. Listening to Children Now. Part II. Communicating with Children. 4. The Developing Child. 5. The Child as Social Actor. 6. Theories of Intervention. Part III. Opening Up a Dialogue with a Child. 7. Being Prepared. 8. Getting to Know Each Other. 9. Hearing the Child's View. 10. The Power Dynamic in the Interview. 11. Endings. Part IV. Particular Conversations - Interviews for Specific Purposes. 12. Finding Out What Has Happened to a Child. 13. Making Sense of Mysteries. 14. Helping Children Cope with Trauma. Part V. Young People and Participation. 15. Consultation and Advocacy. 16. Involving Children in Decision Making. 17. Wider Spheres of Engagement. Last Words. References. Subject index. Author index.