Making meaningful connections: Using insights from social pedagogy in statutory child and family social work practice

Gillian Ruch, Karen Winter, Viv Cree, Sophie Hallett, Fiona Morrison, Mark Hadfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)
339 Downloads (Pure)


Reports into incidents of child death and serious injury have highlighted consistently concern about the capacity of social workers to communicate skilfully with children. Drawing on data collected as part of an Economic and Social Research Council funded UK-wide research project exploring social workers’ communicative practices with children, this paper explores how approaches informed by social pedagogy can assist social workers in connecting and communicating children. The qualitative research included data generated from 82 observations of social workers’ everyday encounters with children. Social pedagogical concepts of ‘haltung’ (attitude), ‘head, heart and hands’ and ‘the common third’ are outlined as potentially helpful approaches for facilitating the intimacies of inter-personal connections and enhancing social workers’ capacity to establish and sustain meaningful communication and relationships with children in the face of austere social, political and organisational contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Early online date07 Nov 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 Nov 2016

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Making meaningful connections: Using insights from social pedagogy in statutory child and family social work practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects


    • 1 Participation in conference
    • 1 Public lecture/debate/seminar

    Invited speaker - WithScotland - Communicating with children

    Karen Winter (Invited speaker)

    27 Apr 2016

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Invited talk at the launch of ESRC project Talking and Listening to Children (TLC) online resource.

    Karen Winter (Speaker)

    08 Nov 2016

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic lecture/debate/seminar

    Cite this