Voice of the child
1. Introduction and context
With Grateful thanks to Cheshire West and Chester Safeguarding Children Partnership for so generously sharing this toolkit.
These tools have been designed and adapted by Cheshire West and Chester and are available for any services, schools or organisations who work with children and families in Lancashire. All professionals need to be familiar with the tools provided and know when and how to use them.
The principle of good practice is to ensure that children and young people’s views are heard and recognised. If you become concerned about a child or young person it may be useful to use some of the tools available in the multi-agency assessment toolkit.
This guidance has been developed to provide workers with the underpinning principles to effective communication with children and young people and links to a range of tools and methods that may support them to capture the voice of the child within their practice.
The voice of child is of paramount importance in testing out whether the apparent outcomes of interventions are having the desired impact for the child/ren. Seeking the views of the child will ensure that there is not over reliance on parental accounts which can therefore minimise the risk of disguised compliance.
Professionals need to ensure the voice of the child runs through everything we do and that the child perspective is clearly visible throughout any assessment that affects them and taken into account no matter what their age or ability to communicate directly.
This can be done by:
- Direct engagement – talking to the child;
- Observation, particularly for young or non-verbal children;
- Discussion with parents, family members, carers or agencies (but don’t let this be your only perspective);
- Analysis of information held to consider what the impact might be on the child (test this out with the child).