Direct Work with Vulnerable Children: Playful Activities and Strategies for Communication


SKU: 9781849053198 Categories: , , ,

For many vulnerable children, the idea of talking to an adult about their experiences and feelings can be a daunting prospect. This book demonstrates how the introduction of playfulness when working with neglected or abused children helps to build a trusting relationship by openly engaging with the child’s world.

The practical activities and resources provided have been developed over 20 years of working with vulnerable children and are proven to help reduce feelings of stress and open up the lines of communication between adult and child. The straightforward, accessible style makes them easy to follow and ideal for reference in everyday practice.

With plenty of tried and tested advice, this book is essential reading for all those working with vulnerable children, including social workers, child protection workers, therapists, teachers and police interviewers, who are looking for effective ways to engage with them.


  • Acknowledgements.
  • Foreword by Brigid Daniel, University of Stirling, UK.
  • 1. Engaging Effectively with Children.
  • 2. Preparation.
  • 3. Free Play.
  • 4. Basic Principles when Working with Children.
  •  5. The Child.
  • 6. Using Self and the Environment.
  • 7. Common Misconceptions about Barriers to Working Creatively with Children.
  • 8. Helping Us Talk Activities.
  • 9. Emotional Literacy Activities.
  • 10. Explaining Things Activities.
  • 11. Strategies to Use when Carer Breaks are Required.
  • 12. Strategies to Help with Night Time Difficulties.
  • Appendices. References. Index.

Author Bio:

Audrey Tait is a Social Worker with the Children and Families Practice Team, City of Edinburgh Council. Originally trained as a nursery nurse, she has 20 years’ experience working with children in social work settings and for the past 4 years she has been delivering a training course, Communicating with Children, for the City of Edinburgh Council’s Children and Families Department.

 Helen Wosu is an independent social worker and holds an MSc in Advanced Social Work Practice from the University of Edinburgh. She has previously worked as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Dundee, a senior social worker for a practice team and as an Employee Development Officer in Child Protection for the City of Edinburgh Council. She currently undertakes kinship care and adoption assessments as well as child development and child protection training

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