Communicating with children in court: a useful guide in child protection

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Burns, Kenneth
O'Mahony, Conor
McAuley, Carley
Ó Súilleabháin, Fiachra
O'Callaghan, Elaine
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IDEA Project, University College Cork
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If it is stressful for adults to attend court, it is doubly so for children and young people. Courts can be intimidating places and child protection cases are highly-sensitive and emotive. It can be hard to understand the language used by professionals; tensions can be high; there is a lot at stake; the physical design of court buildings can be intimidating; and professionalsâ roles can be unclear to children and parents. Professionals working in criminal and family courts often say that they feel ill-prepared to communicate with children and young people. This tool provides practical suggestions and guidance to support your practice in communicating with children in court.
Child rights , Social work , Law , Child protection , Court , Communication
Burns, K., O'Mahony, C., McAuley, C., Ó Súilleabháin, F. and O'Callaghan, E. (2019) Communicating with Children in Court: A Useful Guide in Child Protection, Cork: IDEA Project, University College Cork. Available online:
Version 1 (2019). © Burns, O’Mahony, McAuley, Ó’Súilleabháin and O’Callaghan. Permission is granted to make copies.