This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days Protecting and safeguarding the children in our care is a…
How To Identify Safeguarding Issues With Stories
This article has been written by storytelling specialists, Tonya and Natasha, from Little Creative Days
Do you struggle to find ways to identify safeguarding issues?
Using stories to help educate or make sense of a situation has been around for generations and it’s still as relevant today as it has always been. That is why using a story can be an ideal way to help you identify a safeguarding problem that you might need to address.
Children will naturally use metaphors and stories to help them work through their problems, so using stories, props and storytelling techniques works really well if you’re trying to identify a problem. It’s also a technique used by many child psychologists when they are helping children with emotional problems, so it’s already a tried and tested method.
Young children generally struggle to articulate their feelings and emotions so using props or getting them to use role play can be a great way to help a child articulate a problem.
Pre-schoolers in particular will often act out roles that they have seen in everyday life and may act out exchanges that they have seen between family members or between themselves and family members. So when you see the children playing just observe and listen to what they are acting out, especially if they’re playing mummies and daddies. Also watch how they play with dolls and teddies as again this can be quite telling.
You can also use role play to help a child overcome a problem, for example, to help them prepare for big school or moving house.
So what do you do if you observe something that gives you a cause for concern?
Put it together with other things that you already know about the family and their situation. If you still have concerns then work with the child a bit more, don’t just base your feelings on one thing so plan out what stories may be relevant to what you’ve heard and read them with the child.
When asking questions stay with the story or in their world as this will help the child to feel more relaxed about talking. Using open ended questions such as who, what, where and when and using the character from the story makes it less personal for the child and easier for them to talk about what’s going on because it’s not about them.
Stories are also very comforting for a lot of children so reading a story with a child who may be trying to make sense of things can also be quite relaxing for them and again enable them to feel that they can open up about their feelings.
To find out more about how to use stories to identify safeguarding issues, then why not come along to our interactive Safeguarding Through Stories Workshop on the 5th April 2019 for practical advice and tips on this important topic.
Tonya and Natasha, the storytelling sisters, are authors of a series of books about a little dog called Pojo who gets itchy paws and goes off on adventures.
They have won multiple awards for their puppet making kits that accompany the stories including Teach Early Years Excellence award for Communication and Language Resource.