By Jenny Murphy (NFIS member)
The following is a ‘Protocol for Professionals’ when working with children and parents.
It is not intended to offend any individual professional. In fact, chances are that if a professional IS offended it may be that they need to look at their practice. I think I speak for us all when we say ‘our concern is not for the good individuals in a broken system, but for our children who are being harmed by that system’.
1. Listen and believe what you are told.
2. Ring/write back when you say you will.
3. Leave your ego/personal problems/work pressure/broken system/defensive/judgemental attitude at the door.
4. See the young human being in front of you, not the difficulties.
5. Call parents by their names, not ‘mum’ or ‘dad’.
6. Admit to not knowing and/or gaps in your knowledge or experience.
7. Say “How can I help?” and mean it.
8. Speak directly to the young human being.
9. Signpost and give links to online support.
10. Don’t abandon. Be truly professional.