Here are conversation ideas to use when talking to children—to assess risk.
|How are you hurting?
- How do you know if you have done something to upset your parents?
- What kinds of things would upset them?
- What kinds of things would get you in trouble?
- What kinds of ways do you get in trouble?
- Are there times you feel Mum or Dad get you in more trouble than others?
- Have there been times you have been scared or worried about being hurt?
- Have there been times you have been hurt in your heart? What about on your body?
|What is day-to-day life like?
- Can we make a book together called ‘A day in the life of me’?
- Start the day when you wake up and go all the way through until going to bed and waking up the next morning.
- [Ask the child to draw pictures to describe each part of their day. Prompt questions along the way:
- Who would be here in this part of your day?
- What would they be doing?
- What would you be thinking and feeling and what would you do when that is happening?]
|How safe, nurtured and cared for do you feel?
- When do you feel happiest and most loved?
- Have there been times you have felt lonely, sad or invisible?
- What has made you feel like that?
- What do you do in these times?
- On a scale of 0–10, how safe do you feel?
- On a scale of 0–10, how loved do you feel by Mum, Dad, brothers/sisters, relatives?
- If you need a cuddle or want to feel loved, who do you go to? How do they show you that they love you?
Who are you close to?
Who do you trust?
- Who in your family or home do you feel closest to?
- Who do you feel is always there for you?
- Who would you say always has your back?
- When things are tough at home, who do you call on?
|What sense do you make of your parent’s AOD use?
- Have you heard of people who drink or use drugs?
- What do you know about it?
- Have you ever seen anything like this in your life or in your family?
- How does it make you feel?
- What happens?
- What do you and others do?
- Have you ever spoken to your Mum or Dad about their alcohol or other drugs (AOD) use?
- Would you like to speak to them?
- Have you ever spoken to anyone else about your parent’s AOD use?
|What do you hope for?
- What things would be different or what would you change for your life to feel better?
- What would you want your parents to do?
- What would you do?
- What would others do?
- What things do you want your parents to know about?
- What feelings do you want them to know about?
- What things do you want them to do or change?
Read about ideas on how to talk, play and observe children of different ages in the Working with children section.