Language that Cares to Keep The Promise

Posted on 27th Jan 2023
A small toddler boy looking through a heart shaped cake cutter

SCRA is proud to be part of an exciting Keeping The Promise project focusing on improving language in the Children’s Hearings System.

The ‘Word Busting’ project is being backed by the Children’s Hearings Improvement Partnership (CHIP) and is being led by Our Hearings, Our Voice (OHOV). 

The Scotland-wide project is designed to prevent misunderstanding, distress or retraumatising of children and young people in the Hearings System, through changing the language used.

At the heart of the work, Hearings-experienced young people and professionals from the Hearings System are working together to change and improve the language used. 

Collette Gallagher from SCRA’s Keeping The Promise Team is a member of the Word Busting group. She has been running engagement sessions with SCRA staff to feed into the national work.

Collette explained: “A key element of this work to date has been staff engagement. This has involved face to face and virtual sessions which are designed to raise awareness of language in the context of The Promise, and to provide the opportunity for staff across the country to consider the power of language. 

“The sessions have also been designed to enable colleagues to have space to think about our practice individually and collectively. The sessions also give staff an opportunity to input words and phrases they think should be included in any future language guide for the Children’s Hearings System.”

At the sessions, SCRA colleagues are asked to consider three key questions:

  • Are there any words or phrases that you think we should completely get rid off?  
  • Are there any words or phrases which are difficult for children, young people and families to understand?
  • Are there any barriers we need to overcome and how can we overcome them? 

Collette added: “The response from our staff has been extremely positive. Many of the words and phrases they are identifying, have already been highlighted by young people. 

“I am really pleased to be involved in such an important piece of work. I am looking forward to continuing to be part of the Word Busters and seeing what develops.”

If you would like to know more about the project, you can listen to our podcast with Gordon Main, Project Lead at Our Hearings, Our Voice.

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