Breaking down barriers to meaningful participation

December 2, 2020

New and creative ways to interact

During Covid, our community has found new and creative ways to interact with the children and young people for whom they offer care and support. Caroline Hallett from By the Bridge kindly shared this great story with us about how they have used our apps and a Zoom call to their advantage, breaking down barriers to communication with technology and supporting outcomes for a young man.

Caroline explains that Jon, aged 13, has quite profound autism:

He always refused to engage with doing the feedback form for his child in care review meetings and found face to face meetings really tricky. In the past we have had to write Jon’s views as an adult saying, “I spoke to him and he said such and such” but this time I decided to try something different. I set up a Zoom call with him and pulled up Express, shared my screen and started taking him through the themes.

That’s when things changed for Jon.

Because doing things this way was novel and interesting for Jon, who loves computers, he was much happier to engage with me. The anxiety provoking face to face interaction removed, Jon and I worked through Express for 45 minutes chatting through his choices as we went along.

We now finally know what’s important to him!

For the first time in the five years, we have known and cared for Jon we were able to get his views for a formal review meeting. Whilst Covid has brought us so many challenges it also brings us a wonderful opportunity to think and work creatively with children and young people.

Caroline Hallett, By the Bridge Fostering Service

Quick chat becomes a meaningful conversation

It is important to consider other ways of communicating with children and young people, they have grown up digital and creative approaches to using technology can make the difference between a five minute chat or a 45 minute meaningful conversation.

Thank you you Caroline for taking the time to share this great story with us about Jon’s progress.