Prakash Fernandes advises practitioners on using solution-focused approaches to help build good working relationships with young people
It's not always easy for practitioners to get young people to engage in a particular service. There can be many reasons for this, but through our evaluations of NSPCC services we've found one common concern among many young people with complex emotional difficulties – they don't always trust the practitioners working with them.
Although practitioners are often able to overcome this distrust using their skills and experience, the type of support on offer can sometimes get in the way of engaging the child.
It could be that the young person is not able to see any positive change after talking about their difficulties or that they think the conversations they are having are 'too heavy' with too much of a focus on past problems.
It's crucial to overcome these barriers so that young people can begin to engage with and benefit from services. As one young person on the edge of care told us, "I think it's like there was a wall in front of you, and you just grabbed a hammer and smashed it down."