The Solution Focused Approach with Children and Young People: Current Thinking and Practice


The Solution Focused Approach with Children and Young People: Current Thinking and Practice brings together leading figures and innovative practitioners from different professions, contexts and countries to provide a unique overview of Solution Focused work with children and young people. Presenting a range of applications in individual, group and community work, it puts the spotlight on diverse fields, exploring how the Solution Focused approach can work in real-world contexts.

This book showcases a powerful, engaging approach which helps children and young people find the resources and strengths to manage difficulties and make the most of their lives. It contains interesting case studies, narrative descriptions of original practice, programmes of work developed using Solution Focused principles, and thought-provoking discussions of key elements of practice. With chapters presenting perspectives from coaching, therapy, consultancy and education, and applications including learning assessments, child protection, bereavement, edge of care, and youth offending, the book provides an overview of the current state of practice and provides pointers to potential new developments.

The Solution Focused Approach with Children and Young People will help both experienced practitioners and those new to the approach to develop and update their knowledge and skills, as well as introducing them to creative and cutting-edge tools to inspire fresh ideas and thinking. It will be essential reading for Solution Focused practitioners and students, as well as coaches, social workers, school counsellors and mental health professionals working with children and young people.


  • List of Figures
  • About the editor and list of contributors
  • Foreword by Michael Durrant
  • 1. Introduction, Denise Yusuf
  • 2. There’s More To Children Than Meets The Eye, Chris Iveson
  • 3. Solution Focused Play Therapy, Pamela K. King
  • 4. Voice And Choice: The Vulnerable Child And The Solution Focused Process, Rachel Carrick-Birtwell
  • 5. Kids’Skills: A Creative Solution Focused Method For Helping Children Overcome Difficulties And Problems, Ben Furman
  • 6. From Challenging to Outstanding, Yasmin Ajmal
  • 7. Bridging Cultural Divides In International Schools With Solution Focused Approaches, Felina Heart;
  • 8. The Butterfly Effect, Elliot E. Connie;
  • 9. Building Co-operation and Engagement with Adolescents, Evan George
  • 10. Solution Focused Practices in the Assessment of Learning Problems: Panning for Gold, Jeff Chang and Don Braun
  • 11. A Solution Focused Team Conversation: Helping Educators Create Lasting Solutions with Students, Linda Metcalf
  • 12. Put The Numbers In! The Value Of Scale Questions, Harvey Ratner
  • 13. Dream…Believe…Achieve: A School In South Africa That has Developed A Philosophy Based On Solution Focused Principles, Nick Birkett and Merritt Watson
  • 14. Solution Focused Practice In A British University, Peter J. Eldrid
  • 15. Coaching For Youth Offenders In An Institutional Setting, Joe Chan
  • 16. Solution Focused ‘Injections’: Solution Focused Working In Acute Paediatric Settings, Harriet Conniff
  • 17. Using the Solution Focused Approach within New Zealand Police to Create Happy Endings for Young People and Their Families, Emma Burns
  • 18. Trusting The Child: Using The Solution Focused Approach With Children And Young People On The Edge Of Care, Luke Goldie-McSorley
  • 19. Facing New Challenges Using A Solution Focused Approach: Creating A Supportive Learning Process For Roma Adolescents, Árpád Bárnai and Viktória Sőregi
  • 20. Figuring Futures: The Art Of Reframing Challenges, Elke Gybels and Rik Prenen
  • 21. Solution Focused Work In High-Risk Child Protection Cases: How The Solution Focused Mindset and Creativity Helped Put The Children In The Centre of The Work And Create Possibility For Change, Michael Petersen And Rikke Ludvigsen
  • 22. Yes…And: Useful Conversations Around Trauma, Pamela K. King
  • 23. Incorporating The Solution Focused Approach In Tackling Selective Mutism, Anita McKiernan
  • 24. A Tiny Little Piece Of Hope: Accompanying Parentally Bereaved Children And Adolescents In Their Journey Through Parental Terminal Illness, Grief And Healing via A Solution Focused Pathway, Xenia Anastassiou-Hadjicharalambous
  • 25. High-Conflict Divorce And Parenting: How Solution Focused Presence Can Help, Jeff Chang
  • 26. Spreading Kindness: The Alchemy Of Translation, DeniseYusuf
  • Index

Author Bio:

Denise Yusuf is a qualified social worker and Solution Focused coach and supervisor who works across a variety of settings. She brings experience, expertise and passion to her work with children and young people, as well as a keen interest in, and admiration for, the work of her Solution Focused colleagues around the world.


“This is a timely and important book for practitioners working with children and young people. Drawing on an international field of experts in Solution Focused practice, Yusuf has gathered together a powerful collection of evidence and narratives to provide a genuine alternative to the deficit models prevalent in many parts of practice with children. With the rise in global challenges, it is increasingly important that our children and young people are supported to develop confidence in their ability to create sustainable solutions, rather than being made to feel they are a problem to be solved. This is essential reading.” – Rayya Ghul, National Teaching Fellow, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.