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Communication and professional relationships with children, young people and adults

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Communication and professional relationships with children, young people and adults
Understand the principles of developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults

1.1 Explain why effective communication is important in developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults.
Effective communication skills are important in building positive relationships, as it can help prevent relationship problems. Relationship problems you could encounter like distrust and lack of respect, which can make you unapproachable and build a wall between you. When you have a positive relationship there is much more understanding and people can be more open and receptive to information. It is important to demonstrate effective communication skills at all times otherwise it may send out conflicting messages and cause confusion. We communicate in many different ways, we not only speak but we also use our body and facial expressions.

1.2 Explain the principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults.
There are basic principles that you need to communicate which in turn help build positive healthy relationships-
First of all you need to make time to listen to others so you can respond appropriately. If you rush another person it will make them feel that you are not interested and they will then not want to speak to you about any problems or ask for help / advice in the future.
With listening you also need to be able to ask the correct questions, so as to make sure you are aware of the whole situation and not just a small snippet. This will then help you to respond in the correct manner. You need to be considerate and show empathy where needed. It is good to be open minded and consider the other persons view point as well as your own.
If you are unable to answer a question as you lack the knowledge of the subject, be truthful and either re-direct them to the correct person or say I will take a note of that and come back to you with an update later.
Show respect and be clear on key information so the other person understands and there is no confusion. It is also good in the correct situation to show humour as it shows you are human too.

1.3 Explain how different social professional and cultural contexts may affect relationships and the way people communicate.
There are different ways in which we can communicate with others and depending on the relationship we have with them, for example I would not write a letter to a young child. Within my role I would communicate to colleagues via e-mail, conversation or notes depending on the

situation. When I interact with parents I would converse with them face to face or over the telephone, write notes which in turn may need to be transferred onto the relevant people.
However if I was communicating with a child I would speak to them and use different language according to the child’s level of understanding.
When communicating with another person it is not just age that affects the way in which we communicate, but also knowing the background information. You need to understand their culture, as in some cultures it is not polite to look at another person in the eye when speaking to them. However some people may consider that not looking at a person is rude and that you are not paying attention. You also need to consider that not everyone is able to read or as there could be underlying problems such as dyslexia or they have little knowledge of our language.

Understand how to communicate with children, young people and adults

2.1 Explain the skills needed to communicate with children and young people.
When communicating with children and young people you may want to sometimes go down to their level physically so they know that you are listening to every word they say and they have your attention. Also think about your facial expression and body language as by giving just a simple smile can encourage a young child to speak. Be patient and give a child some time to speak instead of answering for them, as some children are shy or need extra time to think before they speak. Make eye contact and give them your attention otherwise they may feel you do not value their opinion or are interested in what they have to say. React and comment on what they say, even if it is to repeat back to them what they have said and correct the language they have used, to show you understand them. Try to maintain the conversation by asking questions this will also model for them ways to maintain conversation. For a child who maybe is older and can communicate effectively, encourage them to ask questions and put ideas forward for discussion.

2.2 Explain how to adapt communication with children and young people for: a) The age of the child or young person
You need to adapt the language which you use to communicate with as there is no point in using big technical words if they do not know what they mean. Younger children will need more reassurance to help build their confidence especially if they have just started school, so there may be some contact as a result. Whereas older children will need help with talking through any ideas they have and hold a discussion.

b) Context of the communication
I would communicate differently throughout the day with the children I work with. For example during a learning activity I would need to be clear and make sure the children are focused and deal with distractions before they interrupt the session and prevent learning. While on lunchtime or playtime duty I could be more social and humorous. For example I would speak about other interests like afterschool activities or my own family. c) Communication differences
You need to consider the communication barriers that may exist, for example they may have a speech disorder which would need more time and reassurance. Also you need to consider if they are EAL and how much they understand of your language. I would sometimes use pictures, symbols or gestures while I am speaking so they are understanding and also getting the language that we would normally use. Some people may be visually impaired and need specialist equipment or writing increased in size to help them.

2.3 Explain the main differences between communicating with adults and communicating with children and young people.
There are many similarities when speaking to a child and an adult like being respectful, courteous, eye contact, interest and responding appropriately. But there are a few differences. For example with a child you would need to adapt and make sure that the language you use is at the correct level of understanding for the child and that they understand what is required. Whereas if you were talking to an adult in this manner they could take it as an offence that you are patronising them. With a younger child you would also use a different tone of voice than you would use with an older child or adult.

2.4 Explain how to adapt communication to meet different communication needs of adults.
There are also different ways in which I would need to adapt to communicate effectively with different adults within my role. Some adults may have communication difficulties for example be sight impaired and need letters increased in size so they can read them. Some may even be unable to read the letters so you would need to make time to speak to them and keep them informed of what is occurring and talk them through any forms. Some adults may not speak English as their first language and you may need to simplify the language you use to help them to understand or have someone to translate. If you had someone who is hard of hearing you would make sure you were facing them so they can lip-read.

2.5 Explain how to manage disagreements with children, young people and adults.
When a disagreement arises you need to be sensitive and listen carefully. You will also need to respond carefully so you do not come across in a threatening manner. Be very clear so there are no more miss-understandings. Try to solve the problem promptly as the longer it is left the harder it will be to resolve and could also lead to bad feelings after the fact. Do not get drawn into a disagreement with a child, manage the situation carefully and seek advice if needed.

Understand legislation, policies and procedures for confidentiality and sharing information, including data protection.

3.1 Summarise the main points of legislation and procedures covering confidentiality, data protection and the disclosure of information
When working in a school we need to make sure we are considering the Data Protection Act 1998, this is to ensure that personal confidential information in not shared or used without the individuals consent. In school we keep a variety of information such as medical information etc. that we need to help care for children effectively within the school. The main data legislations we need to consider for working within are school are: processed fairly and lawfully. used for the purpose for which it was gathered. adequate, relevant and not excessive. accurate and kept up to date where necessary. kept for no longer than required. processed in line with the individual’s rights. kept secure not transferred outside the European Union without adequate protection.

This means we need to be very careful not to pass on any personal information to other parents, other professionals (unless consent has been given by parents) or visitors to the school.

3.2 Explain the importance of reassuring children, young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limit of this
There may be a time when co versing with another adult or child that you may need to state and reassure that the information discussed is confidential and ask or consent to share with other professionals who may need to know. For example there may be cases of epilepsy, asthma or allergies that need to be known by all staff who would work near that child, so they can help if a medical problem arises. This is still confidential within the school, but there may be a display on the medical room/ office / staff room, and if the school is open to other groups in the evening the display would be removed.
There however can be an exception to these rules where information needs to be shared for the safety and welfare of a child. If this is the case you need to state before the child tells you information that you may need to share the information and cannot promise confidentiality and you may need to refer to someone who can help further.

3.3 Justify the kinds of situation when confidentiality protocols must be breached

Confidentiality protocols may need to be breached if you are concerned for the safety and wellbeing of a child. You can decide this by thinking whether by not sharing the outcome could be worse than the outcome of doing so. The decision to share should never be made as an individual, for example I would report straight to my manager any concerns I may have. The main areas for sharing information without consent are:
Where there is evidence that a child is suffering, or at risk of suffering significant harm.
Where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child may be suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
To prevent significant harm arising to children and young people or serious harm to adults, including the prevention, detection and prosecution of serious crime.

In such cases you need to make sure you follow the correct procedures within the workplace and notify only the people that need to know.

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