Exploring how social workers and children communicate.

The Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) project is a four nation UK research project funded by the ESRC that explores how social workers communicate with children in their everyday practice and how social workers and children involved in these encounters experience and understand them.

The research is a collaboration between the University of Sussex, Queen’s Belfast University, the University of Edinburgh and Cardiff University. The research aims to generate new knowledge that will enhance the quality of social work education, practice and policy and in doing so improve children’s experiences of policy and practice outcomes. Specifically the research will:

  • Identify how social workers communicate with children in practice, from early encounters to established relationships, encompassing the high priority areas of child protection and ‘looked after’ children
  • Enable practitioners and children to reflect on specific practice encounters,
    helping to identify the barriers to and enablers of effective communication
  • Identify how practice in this domain could be improved and develop paper-based and video/digital resources to enable these improvements to be realised.

Module guidance: Continuing Professional Development Resources

The TLC digital materials are designed to support professionals working in the social work arena.

We’ve taken a visit with the child as our starting point, dividing the visit into four key stages. Films in each module include real-life examples adapted from our research, practical approaches, social workers discussing their practice and theoretical insights. Reflective exercises are integral to all of the modules.

The materials can be used for self-directed study or part of a facilitated CPD workshop. For more information please contact Professor Gillian Ruch: mailto:g.ruch@sussex.ac.uk

Getting the mindset right
Communicating with a purpose
Creating the space
Making good endings

Impact Blog

Kitbag workshops delivered in six local authorities

The BASW 80-20 Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) Kitbag campaign is supporting the take up of Kitbags as a resource for promoting and enhancing communication with children especially, and also with their families. As part of this process the University of Sussex is working in partnership with six local authorities, in the first instance, and […]

Partnering with BASW at the 8020 Conference

We partnered with BASW England at their 80/20 Campaign conference to speak about the Talking and Listening project and Kitbag. The event took place on Thursday 4th April 2019 in Birmingham. In April 2019 the Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) project joined forces with the BASW 80-20 campaign to host an event to highlight [...]

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