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Having Difficult Conversations with Children and Young People

Event Details
Date: Thursday 8 December 2022
Time: 11.00am –12.30pm AEDT
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 1.5 hours
CPD Category: 2 - Skills and Knowledge

Refer to listing

Organiser: AASW


(03) 9320 1000


Effective communication with children and young people is an essential part of social work practice, whether at school, in the therapy room, or as part of the OOHC and child protection systems. Social Workers are often required to have difficult conversations about complex and traumatic events in the lives of their youngest clients and have a responsibility to ensure these conversations are managed appropriately.

This webinar will support practitioners to have difficult conversations with children and young people by illuminating principles of practice they may utilise. The conversational style and approach presented in this webinar is designed to enhance effective engagement when having difficult conversations about issues that affect children and young people, or abusive actions they may have been subjected to.

We will explore why an anti-oppressive social works lens is important for building effective and collaborative relationships with children and young people. Flowing on from this, a number of conversational aids will be explored alongside discussion of their strengths and most effective uses.

Participants will then be introduced to the “ARMED” (Affect Regulation Model) approach to responding effectively to the range of emotions that children and young people may express.

Who should attend? Social Workers and allied health professionals who work with children and young people, particularly in child protection and OOHC contexts, and would like to improve how they communicate with this demographic.

1.5 hours of CPD activity: Category 2, skills and knowledge training.
AASW Credential: Child Protection, Mental Health

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how children and young people communicate throughout the different phases of their life
  • Adopt a conversational approach to communicating with or children and young people in complex or traumatic situations
  • Select conversational aids to support effective communication with children & young people
  • Utilise the ARMED (Affect Regulation Model) approach to support clients to regulate their emotions and feel safe


Mary Jo McVeigh

Mary Jo McVeigh is the founder and director of Cara House, “a place for healing, discovery and growth” and CaraCare charity; both which support vulnerable children, young people, and their families through trauma- specific counselling, group work and human rights practices. As a trauma therapist and an accredited mental health social worker with 35 years- experience, Mary Jo has worked with children and families who have experienced child abuse, violence, and trauma by assisting them to tap into their own resilience and strengths, to look at how they have survived in the face of adversity.

Mary Jo has presented training seminars and conferences at a state, national and international level. She is a published author and has written and co-authored many journal articles in the field of child protection, trauma, and healing. She is currently enrolled in a PhD at the University of Sydney. Mary Jo is teaching at an undergraduate and post-graduate level for the social work department and is also involved in national research projects.

Location and date

Live online: a Zoom link will be emailed to you prior to the webinar
08 December 2022
11.00am-12.30pm AEDT

A recording of the webinar will be sent to registrants via email after the event and available to watch for 2 weeks.


Members: $90.00 (including GST)
New graduates, retired and student members: $45.00 (including GST)
Non-members: $120.00 (including GST)
Non-member students: $90.00 (including GST)


To receive member prices please login to the member centre before proceeding with your purchase.

Click submit on the right-hand side of this page to register.

*Please note, registrations close 08 December 2022 at 9.00am AEDT

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers