Training resources

Things We Don’t Talk About.
Barnardo’s Child Care Publications,Barnardo’s Trading Estate
Paycocke Rd Basildon Essex SS14 3DR £55 (incl p&p)
This resource pack has been developed by Barnardo’s for use in
schools with groups of girls and young women aged 11-18. It is
designed to raise awareness of the risks of sexual exploitation and
abuse through prostitution, to promote young women’s self-esteem
and so develop strategies in keeping safe.
It is beautifully presented in three separate packs, each
containing exercises and related teacher’s notes and a summary of
learning outcomes, which relate to the national curriculum. Taken
together, the packs lead participants through a process of raising
awareness of vulnerability and identifying risks in a variety of
contexts (pack 1: Setting the Scene); exploring how a young woman
may become ensnared in prostitution (pack 2: The Main Issue); and
finally how to identify strengths, positive relationships and
sources of help (pack 3: Going Forward with Confidence). A number
of the exercises could be used in isolation.
Materials are well thought out, comprehensive, attractively and
durably designed and likely to promote wide-ranging debate. They
include material in video and cassette form. Notes give advice on
how to run the exercises, together with tips and cautions. There is
no recommendation of how long each exercise may last, which might
have been helpful for planning, although there is a suggestion of
how long the whole programme might take. This will be controversial
and challenging territory for many. While there is advice on
preparation for teachers and participants this is rather tucked
away, and there is little mention of how to inform parents about
the work.
Things we Don’t Talk About is a welcome resource for
educating girls and young women. It will be valuable not only in
schools but also in youth clubs, girls –
groups and, crucially, with girls and young women in residential or
foster care.
Jenny Boyd is a child protection officer in Camden Council,
and was lead officer in the authority for children and young people
abused through prostitution.

Whose Reality is it Anyway? Putting Social Constructionist
Philosophy into Everyday Clinical Practice

By Isabelle Ekdawi, Sue Gibbons, Elizabeth Bennett and Gillian
Hughes Pavilion Press The Ironworks Cheapside Brighton East Sussex
BN1 4GD£125 plus VAT

This is an interesting resource that seeks to apply social
constructionist theory to practice. It comprises a 30-minute video
and an accompanying 120-page A4 manual.
The manual lays out the basis of social constructionist theory and
how it can be used to cast light on various aspects of clinical
practice. The manual was written by four psychologists working in a
mental health setting. This may put off some potential social work
users of this pack as they may feel that the world of
psychotherapeutic practice is so far removed from modern social
work. However, I feel the pack does have something to offer social
work staff, despite its roots in clinical psychology.
I found the manual of more interest and value than the video but
others may be more comfortable with 30 minutes of extracts from a
role-played therapy session.
Social constructionist theory has never been a dominant force in
social work but it has been around for a long time now and has
influenced many aspects of practice. This pack helps to establish
basic points underpinning the theory and draws links with practice.
With a little bit of imagination, it therefore has the potential to
be adapted to suit various social work settings and contexts.
This is not a pack prepared with inexperienced trainers in mind who
can simply follow the instructions provided, but experienced
trainers who wish to explore
the significance of this important theory base will find this a
useful resource.
Neil Thompson is a director of Avenue Consulting and a
visiting professor at the University of Liverpool. He is the author
of Understanding Social Work: Preparing for Practice (Palgrave,

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