31 Jan WORKING FRAMEWORK with CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
Visual Diagram By Angela Ranallo (adapted from Johnella Bird)
I am providing a visual diagram of the ways that I work, for people who, like me, may benefit from visuals to help in the understanding. Looking at the diagram, you will notice that there is a particular starting point. The reason for starting with children and young people’s strengths is to begin fostering a sense of hope and confidence about tackling a problem. This is a framework that ‘directs attention’ to present- but- unexplored areas of the child/young person’s life to obtain a much richer description of the child and young person, rather than having the problematic stories draw full attention.
Problems have a way of having an effect on many areas of the child/young person’s life and relationships: at school – possibly with teacher/s and peers; at home – with parent/s, carers, brothers/sisters etc. Only two areas are mentioned here, although there would be many more areas where the problem could play havoc in the lives of children and young people. It does not take long before there are reputations and labels floating around at the expense of the children/young people and then difficult to separate the problem and the children/young people. At this point, there is the danger of the children/young people becoming the problem, hence the creation of a negative identity.
Identity conclusion (who a child believes to be, and how the child/young person is believed to be by others) is a social process created in relationships with others, and shaped by the stories that are told about the child and young person.
Working with children and young people in context is a belief and practice I endeavour to adhere to. What this means is, that before beginning work with children and young people, I consult with and maintain ongoing involvement with parent/s or carers, if deemed appropriate, as well consulting with the school and whoever else may be influential in the child and/or young person’s world.
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