Talking to Children about Difficult Things: Understanding emotional communication in challenging and turbulent contexts (CPD116)

Course Overview 

Healthcare workers such as Social Workers and others in allied professions frequently need to talk to children and young people about difficult and painful issues, whether this is as a result of child protection concerns or in respect of decisions being made about their lives. These circumstances can be stressful and can make even the most experienced practitioners feel daunted and ill-equipped for the task.

The course is designed to think about the most appropriate ways to communicate with children and young people, incorporating feedback from professionals and children and young people.

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Start Date 
20 and 27 June 2016
Tavistock Centre
Course aims

The course aims to reflect the realities of working with children and young people in this difficult context and equip participants with a framework as well as a practical ‘toolkit’ which can be integrated and drawn upon in  practice. 

The course aims to:

  • Identify the difficulties associated with this work and their sources
  • Identify the emotional and practical preparation required when needing to talk to children about difficult issues
  • Learn how to use a developmental perspective in order to communicate effectively with children and young people; focusing specifically on play as symbolic communication and engaging adolescents
  • Explore and implement a range of communication tools that can be used in practice to elicit children and young people’s wishes and feelings
Course organisers

Dawn Scanlon, Family Court Adviser/Social Worker, Cafcass

Adi Steiner, Course Organising Tutor, Senior Clinical Social Worker, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust

Karen Tanner, Consultant Social Worker, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust


Course dates

This is a two day course taking place on Monday 20 and Monday 27 June 2016 from 9.30am - 4.00pm.