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Unit 301

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Unit 301
Communication and Professional Relationships with Children, Young People and Adults

Outcome 1
1.1 Explain what is meant by effective communication.
Why is effective communication important?
The term effective communication means that both parties consider how they approach other people and how they respond. With effective communication we are more likely to communicate information if we have positive relationships within our day to day dealings with other people.
This also includes dealing with parents, outside agencies etc. If positive relationships are established, then communication will , in turn, become more effective. This means information will be passed on more effectively and support maybe more beneficial.
Without effective communication misunderstanding may occur, which could lead to bad feeling or issues between staff members or parents etc. The long term effect of this could be that vital information may not be disclosed, which could lead to even further problems.

1.2 Explain the principles of relationship building.
The principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults in any context are that if others are comfortable in our company and have a level of trust, they will be more likely to communicate effectively. If people are suspicious of one another they are likely to avoid one another wherever possible.
It is imperative in all relationship building to establish levels of respect,consideration and remembering to listen effectively. Remembering issues that are personal to the individual will also show effective communication and build the relationship further.

1.3 Explain how different social,professional,cultural situations may affect relationships and they way people communicate.
When communicating with others it is important to remember the context in which this is occurring i.e. when in school ,people who are friends outside of the school will act differently than when they meet socially. It is important to be aware of any cultural differences when communicating, as in some cultures it is not polite to maintain eye contact for example. When meeting on a professional level, it is polite to use formal language rather than informal as this may cause a lack of trust with the professional involved.
Many factors can affect communication. From how a person dresses to body language, attentiveness and response times to phone/email messages. All of these factors can be misread by others and should be taken into account when dealing with other people.

Outcome 2
2.1 Explain the skills needed to communicate with children and adults.

There are many factors involved when communicating with children and adults, most of which are done instinctively. It is important though that these skills are remembered on a day to day basis as effective communication can be lost quickly without them.
A) Eye contact- unless culturally impolite, it is eye contact that shows a person that they are being listened to. Called active listening, this shows that person talking has your full attention, rather than looking past them , making them feel that you are not interested in what they have to say.
B) Body language- when listening to someone speak, body language can speak more than words. With a young child, get down to their level, which also maintains the eye contact but does not make them feel like you are using your height as superiority. Listen without crossing your arms as this appears defensive. Smile if appropriate and keep nodding while they are speaking.
C) Respond and maintain conversation- it is important to model 'normal' conversation with children and adults, as all ages can struggle with this. This will build up an understanding of how it works, and enable them to gain experience in having a conversation.
D) Sufficient opportunities to talk- always remember that no matter the age, everyone has the right to voice their opinions. If a child is given the time to talk, this will develop their confidence and so enable them to talk about something important to them if they need to. Everyone has the right/need to feel listened to.
With the above skills a child or adult should feel relaxed and confident enough to ask questions and put forward their ideas and thoughts. They will also be able to offer suggestions and ideas which will encourage a two-way conversation and will lead to the formation of a positive relationship.

2.2 Explain how to adapt communications with children and young people for :-
A) the age of the child
Children of different ages will require varying levels of attention. Younger children may need more reassurance, particularly when first starting school. They may need more physical contact as a result of this as well. As children become more mature, they may need more help with talking through issues they may have and reflecting on their thoughts. Vocabulary will need to be adapted to each individual depending on their age.
B) The context of the communication
If you are undertaking a learning activity with a child, it is important they are focused on the task in hand, this is not the time to discuss other issues. These can be discussed when the task is finished in a more social situation. If an issue is spoken of it is important to remember this and take the child/young person aside after the activity is finished for further discussion. This will develop the positive relationship between you, but must be on a 'professional to child' level.

C) Communication difficulties-see below
Children or young people with these difficulties may need more time to speak and this needs to be taken into account, and they need to not feel pressured or rushed. It is important that you do not try to finish the persons sentence or guess what they are saying as this will lower their self-esteem and confidence,which result in the person not wishing to engage any further.
It may be that effective communication is improved with the use of sign-language or Makaton or visual aids such as Communicate in Print,
N.B communication difficulties:- language,sensory impairment,speech impairment,intellectual ability,emotional state,cultural difficulties.

2.3 Explain the main differences between communicating with adults and communicating with children and young people.
There are many similarities between communicating with these groups of people. As spoken of before, maintaining eye contact and interest, responding to what they are saying and treating them with courtesy and respect. When communicating specifically with children we also need to ensure we maintain the 'carer to child 'relationship. However good the relationship that you have with a child, this needs to stay on a formal basis whilst in school. With an adult this is also the case as a social relationship cannot interfere with a professional one.
Clarity in our communication is also essential. A child needs to know exactly what is expected of them and then they can perform to the level we expect. If the instructions are a vague, whereas an adult would 'fill in the gaps' and understand what is required, a child will not have learnt this skill as yet.

2.4 Explain how to adapt communication to meet the different communication needs of adults.
Depending on the situation, adaptation can be instinctive. For example , if you are speaking to someone who is hearing-impaired you will probably automatically turn your face towards them so they can lip-read. Once you are aware of any communication needs, these should be addressed and dealt with as soon as possible, as the lack of response can break down any relationship that you may have started to build.
If a parent or carer has English as a second language, you may feel it is necessary to have a translator present for any important meetings that need to occur. Important information cannot be relayed to someone if they have a basic knowledge of the language that you use.
In this day and age of technology there are many tools that can be used to translate basic information, but you should always get these checked, as they do not always translate correctly!

2.5 Explain how to manage disagreements with children,young people and adults.

In an ideal world, disagreements would not occur, but unfortunately this is not the case!
Disagreements are usually down to lack of communication or miscommunication. As adults we can sometimes misread or perceive information wrongly and may think that someone has communicated something to us when they have not. We have a tendency to 'read to much into things' as adults, and this can create many issues.
Any disagreements, whether with a child, young person or an adult, need to be handled sensitively and dealt with as quickly as possible to prevent any long lasting damage.
It is important to remember when dealing with a child having a disagreement not to be dragged into it and remember that you are the adult.
With all age groups , listening to both sides impartially is the key, as is following through on any decisions made. It is also good practice to 'follow up' with the people involved to make sure the situation does not arise again.

Outcome 3

3.1 Summarise the main points of legislation and procedures covering confidentiality,data protection and disclosure of information.
The main points of legislation are summarised below:-
Every Child Matters (England 2003)
This green paper stresses the importance of more integrated services and sharing of information between professionals. If came into being after the tragic case of Victoria Climbie, when there was no communication between health and social workers.

Data Protection Act 1998
In schools parents and carers are asked to give a variety of information so that we are able to care for their children as effectively as possible. However we can only ask for information which is directly relevant , e.g- health or medical information, records from previous school and records for children with special educational needs. This information is strictly confidential and must be used only for the purpose for which it was gathered. If the information needs to be passed on to others for any reason, parental consent will need to be given.
Any organisation which holds information on individuals needs to be registered with the Information Commissioner. There are eight principles of practice which govern the use of personal information. Information must be:-
Processed fairly and lawfully
Used only for the purpose for which it was gathered
Adequate and kept up to date where necessary
Kept for no longer than is necessary
Processed in line with the individuals rights
Kept secure
Not transferred outside the European Union without adequate protection.

3.2 Explain the importance of reassuring children,young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limits of this.

It is imperative that people are aware of the confidentiality of their information. If they feel that the information we (as a School) have access to is to be passed around for anyone to read, then they will doubt the integrity of the school and be dubious about disclosing any further information. If and when a meeting is held, you should make sure that you let the other involved know your obligations. In most cases parental consent would have to be given before any information about children or young people can be shared with other professionals. There are certain situation in which this is not the case. If there are any issues to indicate a child/young person is at risk of harm or abuse,or if there is a legal obligation placed upon the school to disclose information then this can be done. There may also be specific medical conditions which the whole staff group need to be made aware of and there will be an agreed system in school for enabling this to happen.

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

There are certain situations where confidentiality must be breached. This is particularly true in cases of, or suspected, child abuse. You should at all times tell the individual that you will not be able to keep confidentiality if they disclose something that you cannot keep to yourself for these reasons. If important information like this is kept confidential, the repercussions can be catastrophic and the individual will not be receiving the help that they so desperately need. This individual will then continue to suffer unnecessarily. All of this could be stopped by disclosure of information under these circumstances.

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