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Making meaningful connections: using insights from social pedagogy for statutory social work practice

Ruch, Gillian, Winter, Karen, Cree, Vivienne, Hallett, Sophie, Morrison, Fiona and Hadfield, Mark 2017. Making meaningful connections: using insights from social pedagogy for statutory social work practice. Child and Family Social Work 22 (2) , pp. 1015-1023. 10.1111/cfs.12321

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Abstract

Reports into incidents of child death and serious injury have highlighted consistently that a cause for concern has been the capacity of social workers to communicate skilfully with children. In response, there has been a growing emphasis on training social workers in their communication skills. While a welcome development, training can often be perceived and experienced in terms of obtaining practical tips to aid the verbal and non-verbal communication process. We argue that more fundamental to ‘connected’ communicative encounters are intrinsic qualities that are difficult to identify, define and ‘package’. Using a social pedagogical approach and drawing on data collected as part of an Economic and Social Research Council funded UK-wide, four nations, qualitative study exploring social workers’ communicative practices with children, this paper will consider how social workers manage to connect, or not, with children. The social pedagogical concepts of ‘haltung’ (attitude), ‘head, heart and hands’ and ‘the common third’ are outlined as potentially helpful approaches for understanding the intimacies of inter-personal connections and enhancing social workers’ capacity to establish and sustain meaningful communication and connections with children in the face of austere organisational contexts.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Key words: communication, connection, statutory child and family social work, social pedagogy,
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 1356-7500
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 18 August 2016
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2019 08:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/95590

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