The Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) Project Launch Event
You are warmly invited to the launch of the TLC project findings and resources.
Monday November 7th 3.00pm-6.00pm
3.00-4.00 Presentation of research findings and key note speakers
4.00-6.00 Refreshments, further discussions and networking
Keynote speaker: Professor Sally Holland
Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Talking and Listening to Children: Understanding and Improving the Everyday Practices of Child and Family Social Workers
In response to recurrent concerns in the field of child care social work about how social workers communicate with children, the ESRC funded Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) Project (2014-2016) has explored how social workers, in their everyday practice, communicate with children. The study conducted across Local Authority children’s services in the four nations of the UK used ethnographic methods (observations of visits and in offices) and video-stimulated recall to prompt reflections from social workers and children in order to: (i) better our understanding of the ‘real world’ problems that social workers encounter in their ordinary, everyday communicative practices with children and (ii) design and disseminate resources that support and improve social workers’ ability to tackle these challenges.
The project findings have provided important insights into the complexity of social workers’ everyday communicative practices. In particular it has shone a spotlight on how the contexts in which children and families live, as well as the organisational context in which social workers practise, both influence and serve as the backdrop for communication between social workers and children. Moreover, it has highlighted the central importance of professional authenticity, sustained relationships and trust as pivotal to meaningful professional connections and communications with children being realised. Indeed, we would go so far as to say that communication is less important than the relationship between child and social worker, because a ‘good’ relationship will forgive a ‘poor’ communicative encounter.
The Continuing Professional Development Resources
A central component of the project has been the creation of an interactive website which houses a suite of research-informed continuing professional development learning materials. These materials provide an ideal vehicle for generating research impact directly in practice and on policy to promote the safety and wellbeing of children. As part of its impact agenda the research team is exploring ways of disseminating materials to practitioners across the UK.