Changing The Narrative – Inspired Youth and North Yorkshire County Council

Inspired Youth and North Yorkshire county council have made a short film about changing the narrative of social work lingo! Changing The Narrative explores the power of words. A film about the use of language in social work, it is funny, powerful and provocative. Produced by inspired youth in collaboration with Scott Akox. Please watch, share and be the change!

changing the narrative

Our thanks to Inspired Youth and everyone who took part in and contributed to this film. Changing the narrative – join the movement. Be the change.

Divisive, demeaning and devoid of feeling: how social work jargon causes problems for families

In 2018, Surviving Safeguarding wrote a piece for Community Care about how social work language can create barriers between children, families and the system:

Think about the language you use while compiling reports or during meetings. Parents and children don’t have years of training and aren’t privy to your acronyms. Don’t make a difficult time even harder. We’re all human beings, treat us with dignity and respect.

– Surviving Safeguarding, May 10th 2018

transparent and inclusive practice

In 2018 Ofsted inspectors criticised the impact of “complicated” and “opaque” language used in child protection conferences and plans at Birmingham Children’s Trust. Ofsted criticised them as being “difficult for some parents and older children to understand”

The comments were made in the report of monitoring inspection of children’s services in Birmingham. Inspection found that the opaque language used in plans was not helpful to families.

“This is particularly the case in relation to contingency plans, which often contain the phrase ‘the Trust will seek legal advice’, rather than spelling out how the Trust will respond to increasing risks,” the report said.

language that cares

Please encourage all professionals to share and discuss a language that cares with children and young people.

The lesson for all of us who work with children in care is that we must stop hiding behind our protective coat of jargon and talk to children and young people in language that actually describes the events in their lives and the things that they are going through.

Andy Elvin, Chief executive of TACT

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