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Effective Communication with Children

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Effective communication with children, young people and families
Good communication is central to working with children, young people, families and carers. It helps build trust, and encourages them to seek advice and use services. It is key to establishing and maintaining relationships, and is an active process that involves listening, questioning, understanding and responding. You should always communicate with them appropriately to match the stage of development, personal circumstances, and needs of the person you’re talking to.
It is important to be able to communicate both on a one-on-one basis and in a group. Communication is not just about the words you use, but also about the way you’re speaking and your body language. You need to feel and show empathy and sincerity, and above all, listen. You need to take account of culture and context. For example, you need to be aware and communicate appropriately if English is an additional language, or the child is disabled or at risk of under-achievement or other poor outcomes.
Effective communication extends to involving children, young people, their parents and carers in the design and delivery of services and decisions that affect them. It is important to consult the people affected and consider opinions and perspectives from the outset. Another crucial element of effective communication is developing trust between the workforce and children, young people, parents and carers – as well as within different sectors of the workforce itself.
To build a rapport with children, young people, their parents and carers, it is important to be respectful, understanding and honest. People become engaged when relationships are continuous, and their lives improve as a result.
The skills and knowledge highlighted here and throughout the Common Core provide a basic description of areas that may need development through…...

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