Description of the studies, methodology etc: Butler and Williamson – 190 children, contacts made via SSDs, interviewed in schools, youth clubs and children’s homes. 55% female, 0ver one third were BME, majority 12-15 years Your Shout! – Main aim was to find out how children experienced the court system, decision-making within that context and participation in their own care plans. 706 children completed questionnaires distributed through the magazine Who Cares ? Majority of sample aged 11-16 years (72%), White British (86%), 60% female Remember my Messages – Aim was to find out more about how children experienced being looked after. 2,073 questionnaires returned – distributed through the Who Cares? Magazine, also directly through local authorities, child care charities, in-care groups, children’s rights offices. 55% female, 83% 12-17 years, 85% White British, 12% disabled or long-term health problem Start with the Child, Stay with the Child – Project to establish a blueprint for a child-centred care system. Found out children’s views by a number of methods – questionnaire, group work, fun events and work with minority groups (ethnicity, mental health, asylum seekers). 400 children and young people involved, majority 12-16 years. Age and ethnicity not recorded QP initiative
More quotes Pages 67 - 87 of Butler and Williamson.
Break at this point to discuss in pairs, “Think of your last interaction with a child. How many of the points above did you fulfil?”
There are lots of other statistics in this publication about a range of issues regarding being looked after. Those selected relate most strongly to the need for good communication with children.
As with Remember My Messages (Shaw, 1998) there is more in this document regarding being looked after, but the selection shown here is based on the importance of establishing a good relationship with children in order to facilitate good communication.
More of this on Page 50 of Start with the Child, Stay with the Child. Break for short discussion in pairs, “Think of the last time you let a child down by doing something that you knew they didn’t want, or something that didn’t work for them (even a simple thing like cancelling an appointment or being late). Discuss what happened, and what you could have done to prevent it”
The studies we will be talking about are national, but a number of local authorities have undertaken local surveys and it would be rare now for there not to be some material in your area. If young people are involved in designing and carrying out surveys, you are likely to get more honest responses, but you will need to provide training. If there hasn’t been one, then organise it in your teams.
1. What Children Tell Us A sample of research studies
2. Studies to find out what children say <ul><li>Children Speak – Butler and Williamson, 1994 </li></ul><ul><li>Your Shout! – Judith Timms and June Thoburn, NSPCC, 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Remember My Messages – Catherine Shaw, Who Cares Trust, 1998 </li></ul><ul><li>Start with the Child, Stay with the Child – Voice for the Child in Care, 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Ask Us – Department of Health and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a project to find out the views of disabled children, 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Local surveys </li></ul>
3. Butler and Williamson (1994) – Who do children talk to about their problems? <ul><li>Many young people had no trust in other people and the majority would talk first to someone within the family network </li></ul><ul><li>Over a quarter said they would talk to a friend </li></ul><ul><li>A significant number had no trust in adult professionals </li></ul><ul><li>‘ They don’t really listen. And then they don’t believe you’ </li></ul>
4. Butler and Williamson – Young people’s view of social workers <ul><li>Lack of understanding ‘ They don’t know nothing about what it’s really like for you’ </li></ul><ul><li>Impose their own views ‘ They twist the story, then sort it out their way’ </li></ul><ul><li>Doubts about confidentiality ‘ They spread things around: the whole world knows’ </li></ul><ul><li>Trivialise or overreact ‘ Just because I put on a friendly face they don’t realise I want them to be serious with me’ </li></ul>
5. Butler and Williamson – What do children want from professionals? <ul><li>Good listener – ‘not like a robot’ </li></ul><ul><li>Available – ‘ not at lunch, off sick, on training’ </li></ul><ul><li>Non-judgemental and non-directive – ‘ advice should be ‘maybe’ not ‘you must’ – give you choices’ </li></ul><ul><li>Humour – ‘ someone you can have a laugh with’ </li></ul><ul><li>Straight talking – ‘ not always what you want to hear’ </li></ul><ul><li>Trust and confidentiality – ‘ consult before you spread things on’ </li></ul>
6. Timms and Thoburn (2003) – What do children think of the court process? <ul><li>66% said they had someone helpful to talk to through the process </li></ul><ul><li>42% said they felt listened to in court </li></ul><ul><li>55% did not get the chance to speak to the judge, and 21% would have liked to </li></ul><ul><li>When asked who was helpful, social workers received the most responses (30%) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I would like social workers to be a bit more alert and to hear what foster carers have to say and when they put down a time to come and see you they must try to make the effort and come’ </li></ul>
7. Shaw (1998) – What do children say about being in care? <ul><li>49% said coming into care was confusing and scary, and 31% said it would have been easier if they had had more information </li></ul><ul><li>47% said they had a lot of say in decisions about seeing their social workers </li></ul><ul><li>Although 30% described themselves as lonely, 70% said they felt happy most of the time </li></ul><ul><li>Having access to ‘someone special’ to talk to was strongly associated with a generally positive state of mind </li></ul>
8. Voice for the Child in Care (2004) – Relationships with professionals <ul><li>Young people said they would like to see professionals who are: – reliable – keep promises – provide practical help – take time to listen, and to respond – see their lives in the round, not just the problems </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I would have liked them to sit down with me and have a conversation for more than 15 minutes. Instead of telling me what they were going to do with my life, find out a bit more about me’ </li></ul>
9. Voice for the Child in Care – Reviews <ul><li>Children and young people said they feel they are not involved in the conversation at reviews, it goes on around them, and is about them, but it doesn’t engage them </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I was sitting in a room with about 15 people, all talking about me like they knew me. I’d never met any of them!’ </li></ul>
10. Ask Us (2002) – Views of disabled children <ul><li>We want what other children want </li></ul><ul><li>We want to do what other children do </li></ul><ul><li>We want to go where other children go </li></ul><ul><li>We want to be respected We want to feel the same ‘buzz’ that other children feel </li></ul>
11. Local information <ul><li>Surveys, group work </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits in finding out what children in your area think </li></ul><ul><li>The process itself raises awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Involve practitioners and managers and YOUNG PEOPLE </li></ul>
12. ‘ I feel social workers come and go a bit quick. I don’t care anymore. My latest social worker, I’ve already been told he’s only temporary. If you know someone isn’t going to be around, you don’t bother talking to them’