As a practitioner, your role is crucial

Children and young people – including those who have experienced domestic homicide – are experts in their own lives, and a critical source of insight and wisdom. Given the opportunity, children and young people have great capacity to contribute to decisions that impact their lives.

However, while many children and young people deeply value the opportunity to be heard, and rely on genuine support and advocacy from practitioners, they can also feel overwhelmed when too many different organisations are involved, and when there is a lack of continuity in terms of multiple changes in guardians, youth services, or placement workers. Also, when children are frequently asked their preferences, but those preferences are not upheld. In this context, relevant questions to ask are:

  • As children and young people’s needs change over time, how can we coordinate different services to provide long-term support?
  • In what ways can we lessen the likelihood of children and young people being asked to repeatedly tell their stories to multiple people (when this is not with therapeutic intent)?
  • What expectations and assumptions might a children or young person have about talking with a practitioner?

Next section: Supporting children, young people and families

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