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Making Sure Children Get 'HELD'

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How children and young people are treated, especially by those closest to them, shapes their future relationships and social interactions. To help workers support and strengthen positive and protective relationships in children's lives, this book offers: accessible explanations of key social and emotional competencies - hope, empathy, love and dignity - described here by the acronym of 'HELD'; and practical strategies and resources to help ensure children get 'HELD', can truly live out their potential, and are protected within families and communities. Based on the author's extensive experience in both child protection and - crucially - in work with families facing significant difficulty around having children with severe disabilities, this manual provides: accessible explanations of each of the four 'HELD' competencies, along with brief examples; ten strategies for workers to support parents, families and communities in bringing each competency into action; and see why they are important to help protect, support and strengthen children's wellbeing and safety; and, three resources that can be used to help explore the competencies with families and children. Each can be used on their own; or to support and enhance other information gathering tools, assessment frameworks, and intervention planning that workers may already use. They can be used with groups and families, or to help one-to-one work with children and young people, for example in schools or residential settings. These three resources are: a summary sheet of the HELD competencies to give to parents and families as a resource to further support bringing them into action; the Three Houses information gathering tool, already widely used internationally, to help support engagement and enquiry and explore with parents, children and families how these competencies may or may not be present; and, a simple assessment framework to help workers analyse information they gather. Most of the manual can be photocopied for use in staff development within local teams (Precise permissions to copy are set out in the manual). The strategy sheets and examples about each competency, and the summary sheet for parents can also be photocopied within those teams for use with clients. By focussing both on: what is missing in the lives of people who harm each other and - especially - children; and on what is present in families where children are cherished and harm does not happen, it is a resource that can: enable parents, family members, workers, and communities to become actively involved in reducing the likelihood of children being harmed; and support children and young people to develop resilient traits and healthy relationships as they progress on their journey to adulthood. Nicki Weld is a social work professional leader in New Zealand who delivers workshops internationally. She is author of "The Three Houses Tool: Building Safety and Positive Change", published in "Contemporary Risk Assessment in Safeguarding Children" (Martin C. Calder, RHP 2008).
Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface. Introduction. Hope - having a positive sense of future. Empathy - strengthening connection. Love - providing a secure foundation. Dignity - developing inner strength. Conclusion. Resources: the Three Houses information gathering tool; Assessing HELD - checklist for workers; Resource sheet for parents.

About the Author

Nicki Weld is currently a social work professional leader, and company director, in New Zealand. She has extensive experience in a variety of social service and child protection roles, including senior social worker, supervisor, senior trainer, national social work advisor, and consultant. She delivers workshops both nationally and internationally. She is co-author of Walking in people's worlds - a practical and philosophical guide to social work (Pearson Education, New Zealand 2008) and The Three Houses Tool: Building Safety and Positive Change (in Contemporary Risk Assessment in Safeguarding Children, edited by Martin C. Calder, RHP 2008). Nicki believes in the application of creativity and innovation through connecting head, heart and spirit to inspire people to reach their true potential. She can be contacted on

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