Communication KSS 2

Last updated: 1 December 2020

adult and child talking

Photo: Monkey Business/Fotolia

This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under KSS 2 (communication) in the Department for Education’s post-qualifying standard: knowledge and skills statement for child and family practitioners (KSS). Against this, we have mapped Community Care Inform guides, research, learning tools and other resources to help social workers meet KSS 2 as part of learning and development during the ASYE, preparing for the National Assessment and Accreditation System (NAAS) and other CPD. The links to the resources are in blue; click to follow them to the page you’re interested in.

 What does the statement say?

 Resources to help you

A child and family social worker should be able to:

•      Communicate clearly and sensitively with children of different ages and abilities (and their families) in a range of settings and circumstances, using methods based on best evidence.

•      Create immediate rapport to facilitate engagement and motivation to participate in child protection enquiries, assessments and services.

•      Act respectfully even when people are angry, hostile and resistant to change.

•      Manage tensions between parents, carers and family members – show persistence, determination and professional confidence.

•      Listen to the views, wishes and feelings of children and families.

•      Help parents and carers understand how children communicate through their behaviour and how they might communicate more effectively with their children.

•      Promote speech, language and communication support, identifying children and adults who are experiencing difficulties expressing themselves.

•      Case notes and reports should be focused and jargon free. Present a clear analysis and sound rationale for actions and conclusions so that all parties are well informed.

Child development practice support tool summarises typical development stages from birth to 16, including communication and speech and language development.

Attachment theory: applying it in your practice includes how to use the idea of mind-mindedness or mentalising capacity to help parents and carers understand and communicate more effectively with children. See also the parental direct work tools in the attachment hub.

‘Rethinking’ disguised compliance looks at how to work with families who appear resistant to change, with tips to help you use relationship-based approaches to improve engagement.

Managing fear in social work includes advice working with angry, hostile or resistant people.

Working with birth parents of looked-after children looks at how social workers can form relationships with parents during care proceedings and circumstances when children are removed, and effectively support behaviour change.

Children with speech, language and communication needs provides tips on communicating with children with communication needs, a learning disability or autism.

Voice of the disabled child sets out the qualities practitioners need to develop in order to gather the opinions and preferences of disabled children and young people and offers tools you can use with any child you are working with.

One page profiles explains this technique for building rapport, learning how best to communicate with a child and conveying a flavour of their personality, strengths and aspirations

Audio – using attachment theory to support families explores how to give parents the experience of being understood and show that you will treat them with empathy, and capture what they are feeling without necessarily agreeing with what they are saying. Provides suggestions for how to open a visit and start from a position of civility where resistance about concerns you need to discuss is less likely.

Case recording includes how to write clear, jargon-free, accurate records that can reliably be used for decision making and court work and read by service users.

Links to resource maps for other parts of the KSS:

You might be interested in…

Online resource map for all parts of the KSS
PDF version of the resource map for all parts of the KSS
Quick guide to the knowledge and skills statements and their role in the ASYE, NAAS and ongoing professional development
Map of resources for the practice supervisor KSS