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
Working with children requires you to build relationships with them, but also in ways that are professional. The quality of the relationship that you have with children, young people and adults has a huge effect on the way in which you can then work with them and encourage learning and behaviour.
Positive relations with children and young people are important because when children and young people feel more comfortable in the relationships they have with you they can then separate themselves more from anxieties or trust that you will support them with these in order for them to learn more effectively and met their targets. They will also feel more confident in participating in school, learning activities and learn to become more independent physically and emotionally.
1.2 Explain the principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults
The main principles of relationship building with children, young people and adults is to gain their confidence within you as well as them feeling more comfortable in your company. If children, young people and adults feel more comfortable with your company then they are likely to communicate more openly and effectively.
In order to building positive relationships with all you need to consider the following key points:
You are demonstrating effective clear communication
? Understanding and consideration
? Retain the information that they have disclosed to you
? Listening skills
? Maintain humour remaining professional at all times
1.3 Explain how different social, professional and cultural contexts may affect relationships and the way people communicate.
When you are looking at your relationship with your different client (age) groups you need to consider the following areas, the context that you speak and in which you work with individuals. You may need to adapt the way you communicate with one individual to others. I think that sometimes you do this without thinking at work and within my role I complete this automatically with the children I work with as well as my immediate colleagues. I can evidence this in the use of language that I would speak to a child to an adult. There would be a more formal language to colleagues / adults then there would to children and the vocabulary used may also be more in depth and less simplified.
Within my organisation there is a certain set format of which we deliver communication and this is also set out in communicating outside of face to face contact such as telephone, emails and correspondence.
There also needs to be a view to the way we communication to individuals that may have a different cultural. In communicating with all people there needs to be train of thought all the time considering how we are being portrayed and to make sure that a polite manner is delivered as well as comfortable and open body language, in all this considered then this would enable you to have effective relationships with all and in turn strength your working relationships with all and help deliver the role that you are required to complete more effectively.
Understand how to communicate with children, young people and adults
Understand the principles of developing positive relationships with children, young people and adults
2.1 Explain the skills needed to communicate with children and young people
You will demonstrate through your working role a number of skills in order to communicate effectively with the children and young people you work with and more often enough you will complete these without realising. It is good practice to reflect back on your skills and make sure you are communicating correctly.
When communicating with children, young people and adults you should always give them opportunities to speak. Some children, young people and adults may have confidence issues so it is important to work on this with the individual and make sure that you are showing them you value their views. Visual eye contact and actively listening is a good way of communicating and making the child, young person feel valued and you are interested in what they are saying. In completing this form of communicating with the individual this may help towards the growth of their confidence in communicating.
Body language is also important in communicating and making yourself open can make you more approachable for children, young people and adults to want to speak to you or ask you for help. For example if you are sitting next to a child or young person rather than standing over them this can be more approachable as standing over them can be seen as intimidating. Reacting to what the individual is telling you even with a simple nod of the head can be enough for them to know you are listening and interested.
Commenting on what they are saying or asking questions will again open more dialogue with the child, young person and adult. Children and young people will respond to how you communicate to them and they will learn from you, so you need to be aware of this as they will use these tools themselves hopefully in the situations they are in away from your support.
2.2 Explain how to adapt communication with children and young people for:
a) the age of the child or young people
Children of all different ages will need you to adapt your language accordingly for them to gain full understanding. For example younger children may need more reassurance so in order to make them feel less worried and more secure, you may use a lower tone in your voice or open body language. Physical contact is not to be encouraged as this would not be appropriate although in some situations this cannot be avoided, but you should always be mindful of your position in a teaching assistant role. An older child would possibly not require this much level of support so your communication may be more straight forward and to a high level of vocabulary.
b) the context of the communication
More often than enough you will be dealing with children in all manners of situations so you need to be mindful of this and adapt your verbal communication accordingly.
If you are working in a class environment then you need to make sure that the child or young person is well supported, you are clear in your instruction of work task and less distraction the better so focus is maintained so you would need to discourage this from occurring. In situations I find myself in sometimes the sensory level of a classroom can be very high and the child I am supporting and cannot focus and work so I would remove them from the class situation and work with them back in the facility which is a quieter environment.
Another form of communicating with a child or young person may be more social situation that may occur in break or lunch periods that you are supervising, but in these situations again you need to be mindful of how much information you share in your context. Children, young people and adults do like to get to know you as well as you them so you may find that they ask a personal question in communicating.
These can be answers to a certain degree or humour is also a good strategy to use in this situation as again you need to be mindful of your role. Rather than shutting the conversation down you may want to change the discussion topic to something they like or may be doing in the holidays or after school. Another important factor is for you to never give out your personal contact details to a child or young person as you need to always follow the college / organisations procedures especially with regards to the Safeguarding policy.
c) communication differences
You should ensure care and sensitivity is taken with children and young people and time is taking especially in communicating with those that may have learning disabilities such as a stammer. When working with these children it is important not to finish off their sentences or insert wording as this may knock their confidence. Although you may think you are helping this could be seen as pressure and then may have a negative reaction of which the child may not wish to communicate anymore.
Should a child or young person you find yourself working with have hearing impairment then it would be good practice to speak to them face to face so that they can see you and lip read if required. Sign language can also be used learnt from specialist training and for those who do not speak English as their first language you could be assisted with a translator.
2.3 Explain the main difference between communicating with adults and communicating with children and young people
There are many similarities in communicating with adults and communicating with children and young people such as tone, context, body language, respect and listening.
There will be a difference in what is discussed and you need to always be mindful or your position within your school and the relationship you have with these individuals. Should you be discussing work issues these may be confidential so you would need to follow these guidelines. However well you get on with anyone you work with or support as Teaching Assistant you will always need to remain professional.
It is important to remember when working with children that you are setting an example so however you communicate with them they will take this on board and may use themselves.
Physical contact with anyone you work with should not be encouraged and although this may not be avoided at times you should not offer this as a form of reassurance at any time.
2.4 Explain how to adapt communication to meet different communication needs of adults
It is important that we are aware of needs of adults and particularly those that may have communication difficulties themselves. You may need to adapt the methods you use and again you may do this without realising, but you should always make sure that you reflect on these skills and if you need to support an adult in understanding ask them what is the best way to do so.
Our school often sends out emails and written communication and if this was non readable for some careers, guardians then you could offer to speak to them regarding this information face to face or over the telephone. If for any reason there is a complex situation to communicate to an adult then again support should be given and perhaps another member of staff could be present to help set out the format of the discussion. When I had to communicate to parents at a student termly review I had to make sure that the appropriate professional language was used. I set out what I was going to say and made sure I used clear.
I researched the information such as data regarding the childs grade that I had to feedback and made sure this was accurate to the parent. At the end of the meeting I confirmed everything I had said in a summary form and also asked the parent if they understood what we had discussed and asked them for feedback directly to myself. The feedback given was positive and I feel I met my goal. I did explain to them that if they were not happy with anything that had been discussed or my performance then they were welcome to speak to my line manager. It is important to give alternative in communicating and feedback as sometimes people may not feel they can address this with you direct so other pathways need to be put in place to show good practice.
2.5 Explain how to manage disagreements with children, young people and adults.
I have found that when I have been in a situation where I have to disagree with the child, young person or adult the best way to manage this is to always remain calm and clear. The situation should be managed carefully and sensitively as well as recorded for future reference. If there is a problem raised then it is best to try and deal with this as sensitively as you can, but as quick as possible as the longer a problem can go on then this can escalate and cause more upset.
In managing disagreements you always need to consider the following in order I believe to resolve them. Good communication as poor can lead to further misunderstanding, opposing expectations, difference values and opinions, external influences and lack of confidence so sometimes in this case children my result to physical actions in disagreement as they cannot verbalise what they want to say.
A good format to use when dealing with disagreement could be put in place by your department which may consist of the following:
? Be approachable and demonstrate open body language
? Use appropriate language and speak clearly
? Listen to all
? Be sympathetic and supportive
? Do not interrupt or anticipate what the others may say
? Record detail should this be needed in the future
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.
Within my role I have to make sure that I understand and follow the policies and procedures in place relating to confidentiality and data protection. This is very important considering I work with children and young adults.
I have completed a number of training courses in order to gain further understanding of these policies and to meet the requirements set out within my job description.
These being: Every Child Matters, Data Protection Act 1998, Safe Guarding and Health, Safety and Welfare.
Within my previous role confidentiality and data protection again was very important so I believe I have a high understanding of this area.
I use passwords on my computer to protect information as well as having a passwords to log into my account so others cannot access my data. Paper based files and records are locked away in the main office that my line manager allows us authorised access to should we require this.
I am aware that out of date confidential paper-based records need to be shredded so these are not read or misplaced and seen by others as the records are sensitive to the individual.
We are also asked to follow procedures relating to contacting children’s parents directly and again any contact would be authorised only by our line manager or head of the school. I also know and understand when and how to share information and what is accessible within my role and that which I am not allowed to be aware of as this is not my level of responsibility.
In sharing information with others and if you are not sure you should always ask for permission whether this be relating to verbal information or photographs of children or adults permission is always required due to the legislation.
3.2 Explain the importance of reassuring children, young people and adults of the confidentiality of shared information and the limits of this.
As mentioned above you may be sometimes in a position where you need to reassure others about the fact that information is confidential and you cannot share detail without consent or the parent or other professional. However if there was any risk to a child, young person or adult that would put them at harm then this can be placed on the school to disclose information in supporting the case.
There also may be cases where details of the child, young person or adults records may need to be shared for example medical conditions, but again the school would follow a restricted policy in order to complete this so again reassure would be addressed to the individual that only those working with this person would have access to this information.
Confidentiality is very important as this will enable positive working relationships and professionalism.
3.3 Justify the kinds of situations when confidentiality protocols must be breached
If you find yourself in a situation where a child, young person or adult tells you something in secret it is important to make them aware that in your position you cannot keep a secret so would need to confidentially tell another member of staff, preferably your line manager. This is particularly the case in the importance of suspected child abuse where you must disclose the information you have been told as the young person could be at harm or risk if you did not breach this trust. You can of course reassure the individual that you have to tell another member of staff in order to support them due to the seriousness of the situation.
I was sadly in a positive such as this and I advised the individual I could listen to what they were telling me, but I would have to tell my line manager in order to support further due to the seriousness of the situation of what they had told me. I also explained to them as I think it is important to be honest as they are being with you that as a Teaching Assistant my role is to support them but I cannot withhold details as again this will not help them and they need support.
I also had to make a record of these written so that these could be recalled at a later stage. Written detail at the time is highly important as going back to what you have said or been told at a later stage and recalling this only by memory is not as effective as important detail could be missed again putting the child at risk.
The situation was dealt with and steps where put in place and I was asked not to disclose information to other colleague as this may of affected the above of which I understood fully.