The ability to observe and to process what is seen is crucial in social work with children and families. Yet successive inquiries into child deaths have demonstrated the problems faced by professionals in doing what is superficially a very straightforward task, highlighting the difficulties in seeing, thinking about and developing an understanding of the child's experience.
This book helps readers to develop an understanding of what is entailed in observation, explaining the unique insights that child observation can bring to practice with children and families. By drawing out relevant theoretical concepts it aids their understanding of what they are observing and so helps them to develop their own skills. Key theoretical concepts are brought together from developmental psychology and psychoanalytic thinking in a way that enables practitioners to draw on these to inform and enrich their thinking. Useful case studies are presented which practitioners can relate to their own practice when they are struggling to make sense of difficult situations.
Gill Butler has worked in a variety of statutory and voluntary Social Work settings, that have included practising as a Children's Guardian for many years whilst also teaching at the University of Chichester in the Social Work Department. She was also Deputy Dean with particular responsibility for Learning and Teaching. Her practice and thinking is also informed by her experience as a mother and a grandmother. Subject leader for Childhhod and Youth Studies at the University of Chichester.
Introduction Seen, but not seen and not heard Observing Children Developing skills in observing Using observation in practice Make sense of what we observe: theory helps! Conclusion