1st Edition

Conversations that Make a Difference for Children and Young People Relationship-Focused Practice from the Frontline

By Lisa Cherry Copyright 2021
    284 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    284 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Speechmark

    In this unique book, international trainer and consultant Lisa Cherry invites professionals from education, social work and healthcare to engage in conversations on a range of pertinent topics and issues affecting children and young people today.

    Divided into three main parts, which introduce attachment, adversity and trauma, each discussion places an emphasis on emotion and the understanding that we have as humans for compassion, empathy and connection. By encouraging collaboration between sectors and exploring a range of intersecting themes, the conversations take the reader on a winding journey to broaden their depth of thinking, reflect on their practice and to consider the central message: that we can bring about social change, one interaction at a time.

    This book is a call to action and an opportunity to look around and decide what kind of service we want to provide, what kind of community we want to live in and what sort of legacy we want to leave. At a time of ever-present social and political challenges, this book will stimulate conversations on current practice and professional development for the future and is a must-read for everyone working with children and young people.

    Acknowledgements  Foreword  Preface  Biographies  Part One  Introduction: Thinking About Attachment  1. A Conversation with Dr Eunice Lumsden: Social Work, Adoption and the Early Years  2. A Conversation with Jamel Carly: Child Development, Early Years and Youth Work  3. A Conversation with Andi Brierley: Criminal Exploitation, Intergenerational Trauma and Being In Care  4. A Conversation with To The Moon and Back Fostering Agency: Daring To Care, Relational Approaches to Fostering and Professional Love  Part Two  Introduction: Thinking About Adversity  5. A Conversation with Rachel Tomlinson from Barrowford Primary School: Teaching, Behaviour and Relationships  6. A Conversation with TIGERS: Apprenticeships, Nurseries and Leadership  7. A Conversation with New Marston Primary School: Diversity, Improving Behaviour and Realising the Vision  8. A Conversation with Fiona Holiday: Play Therapy, Artful Expression and Creating Safety  Part Three  Introduction: Thinking About Trauma  9. A Conversation with Cath Knibbs: Online Harm, Online Living and the Impact for Children and Young People  10. A Conversation with Sophie Gilbert: Social Work, Training and Preventing Burnout  11. A Conversation with Sass Boucher: Working with Trauma, Staff Retention and Staff Wellbeing  12. A Conversation with Benjamin Perks: UNICEF, Intergenerational Transmission of ACEs and Creating Trauma Informed Schools and Communities  Conclusion  13. Bonus Conversation with Pooky Knightsmith  Glossary


    Lisa Cherry is a leading international trainer and consultant, specialising in assisting professionals working with vulnerable children and families to understand trauma, recovery and resilience. Lisa brings nearly three decades of working in educational and social care settings and a 30-year journey of recovery in overcoming her own experiences of trauma.

    This beautifully written, accessible, jargon-free and thoughtful book is a wonderful contribution to the world of the power of relationships and connections. It combines poetry, with a range of conversations which have been transcribed with people from lots of different sectors and from a range of contexts. Each interview is filled with so much richness and food for thought, as well as bringing people's journeys and stories alive. Lisa then concludes each section with reflective questions which can be the springboard for so much further learning and interweaving of the theme. A joy to read and one to not be missed!

    Dr Karen Treisman, Clinical Psychologist


    At a time when many of us feel the physical and emotional distance caused by a pandemic, this book is a reminder that some of the most important connections come through open and reflective conversations. Lisa facilitates stories of attachment, adversity and trauma with humility and openness.  The contributors illustrate the power of embracing vulnerability for growth and learning. Together, they show us that above everything, it is often the capacity to love and to nurture that can make the biggest difference to those we support. The call to action is to keep talking, feeling and learning.

    Kerry Payne, Early Childhood Special Educational Needs and Disability Specialist


    This book is a must-have for anyone seeking to understand the importance of conversations when working with children and young people. The voices captured in this book are diverse yet what they all have in common is the focus on the transformative impact that conversations can have on lives and outcomes for children and young people. Although the author introduces theoretical perspectives in an accessible way in her desire to reach a diverse audience, the ‘academic’ nuances are not lost as she provides reflective questions, and identifies relevant additional reading.

    The key message in this book is that ‘conversations matter’ and with that in mind the author and contributors have used their conversations to explain the value of conversations in relationship focussed work.

    Dr Prospera Tedam, Honorary Visiting Fellow, Anglia Ruskin University


    I loved this book! It is beautiful in so many ways; the voice of the author can be heard clearly and she brings to it both her personal and professional lived experience – it and we are richer for that. It is accessible to all, with its mix of conversation, signposting (to further reading) and questions, stimulating reflection and, no doubt, new conversations.  This book is equally suited to the solitary reader or a book club of those who wish to make a difference to children’s lives, as Lisa Cherry has and continues to do so, with humility and a singular determination. Lisa and her contributors would produce one hell of a dinner party conversation!    

    Colin Pettigrew, Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Schools