Views and voice
We've pulled together a list of useful resources to support your work with children, young people and their families.
The links below support you to have conversations that will help you to understand what life is like.
The Shield activity with guidance for virtual visits
'Me First' Conversations with Young People about concerns
'Voice of the Child Toolkit' Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Partnership (PDF)
'Voice of the Child Toolkit' Derby City Council
Tools for Direct Work with Children CAFASS
'Say it your own way' worksheets and resources from socialworkertoolbox
If you need help finding resources please email email@example.com
Resources, ideas and activities are also available on 3 key themes: All about me, My Team, Wishes and feelings.
These resources and ideas for activities have been recommended by workers from across our partnership and are intended to help you get to know the young people you support.
"I always use cards to take turns answering questions so young person gets to know me too, this seems more fair and equal and sets the tone of a relationship. Or I’d say pick a number…and then that’s how many questions they can ask me first before I ask them anything, I’ve never been asked anything that was tricky to answer and it puts the young person in control. Other good questions that are ‘ice breaker’ questions are if you were … what would you be? An animal/colour/place/ car/ etc…"
Jenga (mini jenga!) - Jenga Game adapted with prompt words on blocks
Try and pick out a tile without knocking down the whole thing…it’s tricky but it’s ok if you are terrible at this …grown ups are allowed to be terrible at some things too! (You can adapt this appropriate to the activity) If you get a word block this prompts a question…what is your favourite/what makes you feel/ what’s your best etc…
Alternatively put all the blocks face down and take turns picking up. Use word bricks to prompt a question and build your own stack using any word bricks you select. Blanks get put to one side so the ‘winner’ with the tallest stack will be the person who has answered the most questions. You could use this with individual children, siblings or a family.
Use a paper plate and felt pens to draw/talk about my day (24 hour clock) based on Jan Horwath’s clock face. Use a different colour for meals/snacks, play, school, sleep, and talk about the details as you work out how to colour each segment. The top of the plate would be midnight and bottom would be midday.
This is also useful with parents antenatally to understand their bio clock and their understanding of a newborn’s bio clock and provides a teachable moment. For parents with infants/young children it can help you understand how the parent & child clock may differ? and to what degree the parent is adapting to the child’s age & developmental needs? Young children cannot flex to the parents bio clock. This activity generates understanding of the parental role and the developmental norms & needs of the infant.
4 segments can be anything you want:
Name or draw/things that make me smile/things I’m good at/ who I live with/ pets/hobbies/ gaming/ person who listens to me/person who makes me feel safe/person who makes me laugh/ favourite food
You can share your shield to and this helps establish a relationship – you can leave it with your contact details so the young person knows how to get hold of you and that you are their worker
You can use this activity with a sibling group/family members etc. or with parents to be to consider family strengths – symbolise the new family being created and what parents bring to their new role / how they combine family cultures / parental beliefs etc to make a crest for their child/family
You can also use this later on for what’s good for you right now, not so good at the moment, what would you like to change, who could help or what would you like to happen next – shield is designed to protect you and that’s what we will use it for to be strong and keep you safe.
Conversation / profile cards – Available on a range of topics and age groups
- Derby City Council: Voice of the child toolkit - All about me (PDF)
- One page profile templates
These activities all are designed to help you complete an ecomap and some elements may contribute to an ecogram. These tools explore the ecology around the child. Who do they have positive relationships with? Who contributes towards their resilience including friends/pets/teachers etc. in addition to the immediate family. The tools can aid understanding of which relationships are strong, proximity/frequency and map any distant or fractured relationships too.
See practice guidance on using ecograms / ecomaps
These are available online as free printables or in colouring books. The mandala design symbolises the world can be used to represent the child/young persons own world. Starting at the centre which represents them choose a design / colour and begin with them in the centre. The segments closest to them, who do they live with or who are they closest to? Each layer can prompt conversation about, friends, family, school, groups, family who are further away or you might not see anymore, pets etc… These can be used with young people or family members to identify assets and supportive relationships.
This story book explains the invisible connections between humans. The activity book gives suggested activities which you could use depending on the young person and the work you are doing. This book is also used to talk about bereavement and loss with children to affirm connections which are no longer present. They could also draw a map, picture or collage of all their 'strings'.
Using the template place the child/ young person on the pitch – they can draw themselves/stickmen , if they were a player what position would they play? Who would support them on their fantasy team? Who in real life supports them? What different strengths and qualities do the players have? Who in their life has similar qualities strengths? If their team was made up of family and friends what would that look like on the pitch?
Draw a house
Drawn a house with lots of windows and ask the child to draw a different family member in each window to ascertain who they deem to be a family member. Also they can have different house for different people that they want to see all the time, sometimes etc
Worksheet from the Buckinghamshire voice of the child toolkit (PDF) https://www.bucks-lscb.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Professionals/Early%20Help%20Toolkit/FINAL-VOICE-OF-CHILD-BOOKLET.pdf
A Therapeutic Treasure Deck - By Dr. Karen Treisman
Use the cards to generate discussion. Available along with other resources to facilitate trauma informed practice from safehandsthinkingminds
Huge bag of worries - By Virginia Ironside
Use the story book to look at how worries can get bigger…and BIGGER , how the old lady helps the child sort the worries out and deals with them by giving them to other people or solving them in other ways.
How is your role similar to the old lady?
How might you explain this to a child?
How might you use the resources available: felt pens/post-its/playdoh/ drawer string bag , to represent the child’s own worries? This could then be used to form an action plan of how these worries could be shared and solved.
Have a go bouncing these off the wall and seeing where they land….when did you feel this way? How does it feel in your body? And your head? Use them to open up a conversation about feelings.
This is a 30 minute session at least , it’s designed to open up conversation about hopes and dreams and keeping safe as the dreamcatcher represents a ‘safety net’ which traps bad things and lets good things through. You can use luggage tags to name hopes, dreams or wishes and attach these using this activity to elicit what the child wants. Young people are then left with something positive which they made and have named what they aspire to, the dreamcatcher is a reminder for them about what keeps them safe and what they want for the future.
Feelings Art Workbook - By Ruby Radburn
Picture book designed to facilitate feelings conversations with children and support emotional literacy.
Picture cards from e2publishing
My feelings workbook: naming & exploring emotions
Resources also available to support conversations about wishes and feelings with children of different ages and with additional needs from:
Derby City Council: Voice of the child toolkit - Wishes and feelings (PDF)
To demonstrate how listening to children makes a difference in their lives you can use the Listening Loop to show impact: for the young person, in your own practice, for your service.
Please see The Listening Loop template and the 7 Minute Briefing which explains more about the tool and when you might use it.
Details of all the latest news from the Salford Safeguarding Children Partnership.