First of all I would like to explain why the child observation is important for social workers. It is important because it focus on the problems that arise when a child‘s situation is not taken seriously and consequently have harsh consequences for both worker and child (Climbié Report, 2002). Observation is something that leads to formation of hypotheses and gives new insights about the child’s world. Child observations assist social workers understand, through assessments, the children’s communication between them and their carer or parents. The aim of the observation is to understand the child and his/her world (Briggs, 1992).
Child observation is relevant in social work because social workers deal with problematic situations, in which students have the opportunity to observe and reflect the characteristics of a child’s development in terms of physical and mental change. Observation has an important role in children’s play it shows the development progress as well as the child’s thinking about events.
To gather information about the child we should consider a few aspects like, age, gender, place, time, environment, how is the child feeling and activities that the child goes through. It is relevant to emphasize the strengths of the observation when the child is playing football, and how he is communicating with the other children.
According to Beckett (2002) ...
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...focus of attention by showing his watch to his friends so that everyone could be around him. The child showed the ability to differentiate between reality and pretend by interacting with objects and communicating with the other children.
To conclude child observation is a method to understand the child’s world, how they react within their environment. I found it really useful to learn about the child’s development, thoughts, focus on feelings and at different ages the child goes on developing his/her capacities. Every single context can change what the observer sees because a child can have different reactions in front of his/her parents and in front of a carer. Social workers learn from the experiences and reflect within their own practice. It is an important technique for social workers, needed to develop these skills associated with being a practitioner.
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