By David P H Jones.
Gaskell (Royal College of Psychiatrists)
Practical suggestions on how to develop more effective and reliable communication with children and young people are packed into this book. It is aimed at a range of professionals from those who work directly with children on a day-to-day basis, to those who are engaged in assessments, child protection investigations, or therapeutic work with children.
Jones outlines the mental capacities of children at different ages and stages. These are related to communication, use of language, memory, and level of understanding. He includes useful sections on diversity and difference. For example, communicating with disabled children, those who have different languages or ethnic backgrounds, and children with psychological conditions.
Jones explains the kinds of situations, and adult communication styles, that may lead to erroneous assumptions or conclusions about children. By considering key theoretical frameworks and research, Jones encourages workers to take into account individual needs and experiences in their approaches.
This is a detailed, highly practical, and well-informed book that will serve as an extremely useful addition to practice guides.
Lynne Wilson is senior lecturer in social work, Hull school of health and social care, University of Lincoln.