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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Work

Postgraduate Course: Communicating with Children: Theory and Practice (SCWR11041)

This course will be closed from 17 January 2019

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed to introduce students to relevant theory, research and opportunity to develop their own practice in communicating with children. This is especially relevant for students with an interest in ¿helping professions¿ like social work, youth work and education. The course is offered at an advanced level, enabling students to critically appraise and reflect on their own practice in this domain. It offers opportunities for students to ¿try out¿ and discuss a range of methods, techniques and approaches that have been developed to support communication with children. The course is grounded in theoretical understandings of social work, childhood and youth and pedagogy with children. The course encourages students to use these theories as frame to reflect on and critique communication with children.

Course description 1. Academic description

The course will provide students advanced knowledge and critical understanding of key pedagogical issues and concepts, particularly as they relate to communicating with children. Students will also have hands on opportunities to try out and develop their learning through practice.

2. Outline of content or syllabus

The course will be divided into five sections, each building on the one before. Each section will have a workshop to introduce students to the topic and will then be supported by an on-line tutorial.

Part 1: Getting the right mind-set

In this section, we look at how we prepare for meetings with children. We examine the personal, organisational and practical aspects of getting the ¿mind set right¿. We also explore some of the professional tensions that can arise in this area of practice.

Part 2: Creating physical and emotional spaces for communicating with children

In this section, we look at how we can manage aspects of family, environment and surroundings to create positive spaces for communication. We explore how concepts like attunement can support practice in this area.

Part 3: Communicating with a purpose

In this section, we consider the complexity of communication, from the balance of care and control to the tools that can support you professionals have difficult and challenging conversations with children.

Part 4: Communicating with particular groups of children

In this section, we focus on how we may adapt our approach to communicating with particular groups of children: younger children, children with disabilities, sibling groups and older children.

Part 5: Making good endings

In this section, we examine at some of the practical steps that can help you to make good endings, in both meetings and relationships with children. We explore how concepts like emotional labour and loss can assist us to develop abd understand our practice in this area.

3. Student learning experience

Workshops and independent study, classroom and online, theory and practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of theory, research and practice on communication with children.
  2. Critically appraise how theory informs and shapes practice in this area.
  3. Reflect on and analyse their own practice in communicating with children.
  4. Evaluate and implement different approaches to communicating with children with particular reference to the needs of the individual child, their case and the practice context
Reading List
Fawcett, M. (2009) Learning through Child Observation, 2nd edition, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Foley, P. and Leverett, S. (eds) (2008) Connecting with Children: Developing working relationships, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Geldard, K. and Geldard, D. (2013) Counselling Children: A practical introduction, revised 4th edition, London: Sage.
Horwath, J. (ed.) (2009) The Child¿s World: Assessing children in need, 2nd edition, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Kohli, R. (2006) ¿The sound of silence. Listening to what unaccompanied children say and do not say¿, British Journal of Social Work, 36(5): 707-21.
Kopraska, J. (2014) Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work (Transforming Social Work Practice Series), 4th edition, Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.
Lishman, J. (2009) Communication in Social Work, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Landreth, G.L. (2012) Play Therapy: The Art of the Relationship, 3rd edition, London: Routledge.
Lefevre, M. (2010) Communicating with Children and Young People. Making a Difference, Bristol: Policy Press.
Lucock, B. and Lefevre, M. (eds) (2009) Direct Work: Social work with children and young people in care, London: BAAF.
McMahon, L. (2009) The Handbook of Play Therapy and Therapeutic Play, 2nd edition, London: Routledge.
Milner, J. and Bateman, J. (2011) Working With Children and Teenagers Using Solution Focused Approaches: Enabling Children to Overcome Challenges and Achieve Their Potential, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Morrison, F. (2016) Social workers¿ communication with children and young people in practice, IRISS Insights 34.
Seden, J. (2005) Counselling Skills in Social Work Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shulman, L. (2009) The Skills of Helping Individuals, Families and Groups, 4th edition, Itasca, Ill: Peacock.
Stalker, K. and Connors, C. (2003) ¿Communicating with disabled children¿, Adoption & Fostering, 27(10) 26-35.
Tait, A. and Wosu, H. (2013) Direct Work with Vulnerable Children. Playful activities and strategies for communication, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Tait, A. and Wosu, H. (2016) Direct Work with Family Groups, Simple, fun ideas to aid engagement and assessment and enable positive change, London: Jessica Kingsley.
Trevithick, P. (2012) Social Work Skills and Knowledge. A Practice Handbook, 3rd edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Turnell, A. and Edwards, S. (1999) Signs of Safety: A Solution and Safety Oriented Approach to Child Protection Casework, London: W.W. Norton & Company.
Winter, K. (2011) Building Relationships and Communicating with Young Children. A practical guide for social workers, London: Routledge.
Winter, K. (2015) Supporting positive relationships for children and young people who have experience of care, IRISS Insight 28.
Woodcock, J. and Tregaskis, C. (2008) ¿Understanding structural and communication barriers to ordinary family life for families with disabled children: a combined social work and social model of disability analysis, British Journal of Social Work, 38: 55-71.
Woodcock, J. (2011) Specialist Communication Skills for Social Workers. Focusing on Service Users¿ Needs, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan (Chapter 3 is on Working with Children and Chapter 5 on Working with Parents).

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Fiona Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)51 1532
Course secretaryMrs Gillian MacDonald
Tel: (0131 6)51 3244
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