One size doesn't fit all

Each child and young person has unique and fluid experiences and points of view, as well as expansive inner worlds that are shaped by the social, cultural, and environmental context in which they live and interact. Children and young people may have vastly different thoughts and feelings towards their parents, family and living arrangements, and there may even be contrasting perspectives between siblings in the same family.The ways in which children and young people choose to express themselves may vary considerably; therefore, questions arise around how to create opportunities for children and young people to safely voice their perspectives. A range of methods may be needed depending on age, cultural background, and individual characteristics. Close observation of behaviour and non-verbal responses may be helpful, particularly with younger children. For example, young children may react in different ways when in contact with the perpetrating parent that can reflect their specific needs (e.g. sleep problems, physical illness, being able to stay calm).Building on the question at the end of the video, we wonder:

  • Where do we have opportunity to adapt our work more effectively to children and young people’s cultural background and specific context? Where may we be able to bring in cultural brokers?
  • How do we promote each child and young person’s individual voice across developmental stages?

Next section: As a practitioner, your role is crucial

Return to overview