Listening to children

This section sets out how the voice of children and young people can get lost, and ways of engaging with young people to fully hear and understand their experiences.

We must always seek to establish the ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of their age and understanding). Yet children who come to serious harm are repeatedly missed or not seen by professionals:

Children were missing or invisible to professionals in a number of ways. They include young people who were hardly consulted or spoken with, siblings who were similarly not engaged, young people who were not seen because they were regularly out of the home or were kept out of sight, non-attendance at school, young people who absconded, ran away or went missing and children who chose not to or were unable to speak because of disability, trauma or fear. 

Brandon et al (2010:55)

Before beginning an assessment, visiting a family, making a decision or writing a report you should actively consider how you are going to ensure that each young person's wishes and feelings can be taken into account, thinking carefully about the impact of age, gender, ability, ethnicity, language and other factors.

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