“When I was young, the caseworkers that I had rarely involved me—it was only once I grew older and got to be a teenager that they started to involve me more but by then it was too late… I had already had my opinions of welfare.”
Young person who had been in care for seven years
Child protection professionals know how important it is to involve children in their work. At the same time research with children themselves, and many inquiries and audits report that the children’s voice is often not sought or captured in the child protection process. There are many challenges in placing the child’s voice at the centre of child protection work, possibly the greatest impediment has simply been that frontline practitioners have not been provided with straightforward tools and a clear vision for how to involve children in their work. Of Houses Wizards and Fairies seeks to rectify that deficit providing readily usable tools and interview process that make sense to children and consistently provides workers with a clear understanding of the child’s world.
This video and 54-page workbook presents the Three Houses and Wizard and Fairy tools for actively and directly involving children in child protection assessment and planning. These tools were first created in Australia and New Zealand and have since been further developed by practitioners in Europe, North America and Japan. This video and workbook introduce the tools, which focus on the child’s own words and drawings and illustrate their use through many examples from practitioners from nine different countries. When workers think about involving children directly in their work many issues arise such as: how to deal with what children say, how to deal with situations where children are told not to talk, whether interviewing children will place them in increased danger. All of these issues and many more are addressed in the video and written material.
Practitioners quickly use these tools because they are simple, straightforward and most importantly as the many case examples in the video and workbook show, they work.