Agenda item

Language Update - Verbal Update from the Head of Children's Social Care


The Head of Children’s Social Care referred to the powerful impact of words written by practitioners when recording information in young people’s files, and how the choice of words may unintentionally misrepresent what young people are experiencing at the time.


Members recognised that language is constantly evolving and some words and phrases that were common parlance in previous years are no longer acceptable in the current climate.  Officers spoke of the good quality social work practice in Durham and the steps taken to use less jargon and move towards a trauma-informed approach. The Service Improvement Manager explained that when access requests are made, those wishing to review their records are offered assistance and practitioners can help to explain why particular words and phrases were used. 

Whilst records cannot be amended, discussions about records can be added to the file.  The Manager commented that recordings are increasing being written to the young person, as opposed to writing about the young person. 


It was agreed that the film from which the quotes were taken, will be shown as part of the next language update, depicting the young person’s perspective of what they were experiencing at that time in their lives.