Professionals urged to go back to basics

The head of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support
Service warned professionals last week against getting “bogged
down” with information.

Anthony Douglas told delegates not to allow complicated
information-gathering techniques and systems to replace human
“The best tool we have is to be ourselves,” he said. “We need to
speak to people as a person and not be withdrawn and detached. The
closer we are to people, the closer they will get to us.”

Echoing these concerns, John Kemmis, chief executive of Voice for
the Child in Care, warned workers against becoming obsessed with
adult information-sharing systems at the expense of involving
children and listening to them.

“In relation to child protection, start with the child and stay
with the child,” he said. “Information gathering should be fit for
purpose. And children have the right to know who is being told

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