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
    contact.
    “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    speak to people as a person and not be withdrawn and detached.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
    what.”

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