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.
This is an interesting well-written and thoroughly researched book. A good read, accessible, interesting, informative and thought provoking - what more could you ask of a book.
Counselling Children and Young People
This book is essential reading for all practitioners who need to access the views, thoughts and perspectives of children within the course of their professional lives... In brief, this is an excellent book, to be recommended to many.
Early Years Journal
This is an important time for the children's sector workforce, and social workers in particular, to be seriously reconsidering listening to children both in theory and most importantly in practice. This book proves a good overview of the theory and the practice of children's rights, legislation and policy, child development, intervention, communication methods and strategies.
Children & Young People Now
Alison McLeod, PhD, BA, PGCE, CQSW, has over 20 years' experience of working with children and families as a social worker, a social work manager, trainer and consultant. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Social Work at St Martin's College, Carlisle, UK.