Practical Tips

Tips for Having Honest Conversations.

Professionals are required to have honest conversations with children, adults and their families, on a regular basis. It can sometimes be difficult to navigate these conversations and find the right words and approach to convey what you need to say in a way that will be understood, and accepted by those receiving the message.

Here are some tips to enable professionals to have honest, and at times difficult conversations, and being clear and easy to understand. These should be useful at times when you are having to share difficult news, or information that is likely to be disputed or not accepted.

Tips for Having Honest Conversations


Prompts for Professionals Working with Adults, Children and Families.

There is increased awareness of the impact that the problems and difficulties experienced by adult family members can have on the development and psycho-social adaptation of children. There is also national recognition that emotional abuse and in particular neglect of children is significantly under-recognised and addressed.

Parents, carers or expectant parents may have difficulties which impact on their ability to meet the needs of their children or expected child and / or adults at risk. These children may be in need of assessment for services provided by a range of agencies from universal and early intervention to acute or specialist.

These questions are designed to guide your decision making when establishing the needs of the adults, children and /or unborn child.

Prompts for Professionals Working with Adults, Children and Families


Suggested ‘Conversation Starters’ for talking to families about whether a parent’s learning disability, mental health or substance misuse is having an impact on their parenting capacity.

Professionals are required to have honest conversations with families’ about how their needs and decisions can impact on the children living within the family unit.  It can be difficult to know how best to approach these conversations and find the right words to convey what you need to say in a way that will be understood, and accepted by those receiving the message. Here are some suggested ‘conversation starters’ and tips for talking to families about whether a parent’s learning disability, mental health or substance misuse is having an impact on their parenting capacity.

Suggested Conversation Starters

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