These issues can be empowering and work in an anti-oppressive manner. Post-placement contact decreases the child’s feelings of diminished self-worth and is an aid to them forming new healthy attachments. However, some children have been so damaged by multiple placements, that they are not ready for new foster families.
Fahlberg (1988) suggests Direct Work Play Therapy, as a therapeutic way forward. It is achieved by re-education and re-integration and Corrigan and Floud, suggest a 4 stage practical framework (assessment, holding, repair and moving) for direct work with children. Direct work combines the child’s natural medium of expression, play, it is therefore a useful in planning for an individual child.In working with children, effective and appropriate communication is essential; otherwise very little positive can be achieved, misunderstanding will occur, and harm may be done. In the scenario it was the purpose of our group to show how we would communicate with Michael.
First of all as a worker I would feel it is important to talk to Michael’s foster carer about how the child communicates with them and with other people, and how they communicate with Michael. If the worker cannot find another way of obtaining this information informally, the worker may need to arrange to discuss the issue with a worker at a local nursery or playgroup.It is important to find out the child’s chronological stage and developmental stage. Because Michael is only 3 years of age we decided to communicate through play. Three year olds have short attention spans, become easily distracted and often turn to fidgeting or running around. The worker must go with the flow; hopefully the child will come back to the point of play. Also it is very important for the worker to communicate at the child’s level, by this, if the child is sitting on the floor it is also important to sit on the floor with the child.
listen and show interest. What the child has to say is important to the child, and is not necessarily irrelevant. Use any stories the child talks about as an aid to your communication. It is important to work hard to understand the child, but do not interrupt at the time if some word doesn’t make sense to you.
It may be possible to get the overall meaning, or the worker could check with someone who understands without putting the child under pressure. This other person in the case of Michael could be his foster carer or any other significant other in Michael’s life who was in the room. Michael may be clear about friendship and about people he can trust. But he may be wary of people he doesn’t know, and may be reluctant to communicate with them. With those Michael knows and can trust he may be confiding and affectionate. A child of 3yrs may say ‘I don’t like you’ simply because they don’t know you.
The worker must take their time through several meetings, to build trust between Michael.In the scenario there was not any mention to whether Michael was black, spoke a different language, or presented any learning disabilities. In this case the appropriate communication skills would need to be addressed. It is important to be clear in your mind as the worker your duties and the rights of the child are not undermined because of the difficulties in communicating.
These rights and duties might include:Your duty under S.I. (3) of the Children’s Act 1989 to ascertain the child’s own wishes and feelings. The child’s right under S.
4. (4) to information in a form they can understand. The appropriateness in some circumstances of independent representation. It is very important that the worker show’s that they value the child, respecting their own experiences, background culture and language. Conclusion.
Attachment theory has helped workers understand how and why children develop close bonds with caregivers. It has also provided a framework that enables workers to understand the importance of psychological development through attachment and the implications if they don’t.