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Printed: 12/07/2020
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Practice tips for social workers to consider when engaging and communicating with disabled children and young people

This key information outlines the importance of seeking and establishing the views and consent of disabled children and young people and provides tips to assist social workers in facilitating this participation.

Seeking and establishing the views and consent of children/young people is a fundamental aspect of child protection work, however international and local research demonstrates that disabled children have been largely excluded from consultation and involvement in decisions that affect them.

In particular social worker’s communication with disabled children/young people has been identified as a problematic area with social workers often assuming that the child/young person is unable to communicate as a result of their impairment, rather than seeking creative ways of establishing their views and consent[1].

The following practice tips have therefore been established from a review of the literature on this topic. These tips have been designed to assist practitioners when communicating with disabled children/young people in order to seek and establish their views and consequently facilitate their participation.


[1] Kelly, B. (2005). Social work with disabled children. Childrenz Issues, 9(1), 22-27.