Emma Soutar

Emma Soutar

I am the lead trainer with the centre for child protection at the University of Kent.
I am co--facilitating the course 'Effective communication with vulnerable children.' with Vanisha Jassal

Location Kent, UK


  • @NyemingorKorkorOkai I think it is important that we have support networks, whether these are professional or social, as raising children in isolation could be challenging.

  • @LukeP is it so bad for a baby to associate crying with attention?
    Thanks for drawing attention to the notion of the natural mother, it can be such a challenging time without the guilt of not matching up to societies expectations.

  • @DebraMillward that's really interesting, i'd never thought about these techniques for older people. I am glad you were able to set up a 'soft' entry.

  • @ClaraKay tough for you but great for your children.

  • @DebraMillward when my children were at nursey i had regular meetings with their keyworker were we discussed developmental benchmarks alongside general wellbeing in the environment.
    Pre school/ nursery staff can also play a big role in supporting vulnerable children, especially as diagnosis for many conditions often comes as the child develops more.

  • @DebraMillward i am not a fan of this approach either. I think it really demonstrates the changing landscape of child care. At one time it was very popular.

  • @DebraMillward a good reminder thank you.

  • @LeighBrown thanks for sharing. I didn't know of Badgers parting gifts, even though i see it is 35 years old.

  • @LeighBrown thank you for sharing your experiences. I particularly like your point about children reacting in different ways.

  • Thank you for your comments. It is interesting that a cartoon can provoke an empathetic response. I feel it no matter how often i watch it.

  • @LeighBrown Professor Harry Ferguson talks about social work in the car. You can read snippets here if you are interested. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249021824_Driven_to_Care_The_Car_Automobility_and_Social_Work

  • @LeighBrown i know what you mean. I often play this at the end of heavy training sessions, so i can reset the mood before everyone leaves.

  • @LouisMwanza those threats can also come from a non family member if a child is being groomed.

  • @LakminiDeepikaAmarasinha , bravo, very well put.

  • @MonicaZilianti you are right, effective multiagency working is so important.

  • @ZiinudiinAB I like your thinking, although, while we may want to support mum to calm down, we have to be careful about how we do this. As i am sure you know being told to calm down in the wrong way can have the opposite effect.

  • @AdewumiUnuigbe sounds like important work, I am sure you will find some ideas that will help you with communication for different ages.

  • Welcome @SaqibIqbalRaja , we have included lots of extra links to reading and websites with lots of information. Taking some time to explore these in addition would be helpful to your journey.

  • Children can still have a safe person at home and still be tricked online, into something potentially dangerous like grooming. I think we need to accept that most older children today have an online life, we as adults needs to equip them to navigate as safely as possible. Also we need to check in with them about what is happening in this space, just like we...

  • I always think about meeting the child where they are at. With no expectation and a curiosity.

  • You are right trying to see their perspective is so important.

  • @LeighBrown That's interesting. Where you able to rake any action to address these concerns?

  • Interesting that no one has commented on this, super nanny is usually controversial.

  • @LeighBrown great to hear you are getting effective supervision

  • @DebraMillward Dad can meet many needs too!

  • @janeo'callaghan all red flags and prompts to action.

  • @LeighBrown thanks for talking about professional curiosity, so important.

  • Certainly not all though. Just because parents are together, it is important to consider that not all partnerships are naturally supportive, sadly this is not always the case.

  • @LeighBrown I real like this video on brain development https://youtu.be/hMyDFYSkZSU?si=8XHmBouJot5c02PW

  • @ClaraKay I am not sure it is possible to be 100% present. Caregivers must make sure they are looking after themselves, in order to be able to be present.

  • @janeo'callaghan you are right babies need us to be present. However it is also important to recognise that it is really tough to raise babies and occasionally a bit of TV maybe a lifeline to provide a bit of rest bite or give you a chance to complete essential tasks. I think the general rule of thumb is to know you are doing your best and this doesn't have to...

  • @DebraMillward it is good that she felt able to share with you. Maybe that's all she needed.
    Fortunately we are living in a different age where society is more able to have the conversation about abuse that has been experienced. Perhaps you could return to this conversation with some sources of counselling. Or perhaps some recommended reading, does anyone...

  • @LeighBrown you are right that trauma can be deeply complex. We are only really beginning to understand the impact as the field of trauma informed approaches grows.

  • @ClaraKay it's interesting you talk about a feeling powerlessness. There is much power in approaching from a position of kindness.

  • @DebraMillward i like your point about things working sometimes but not others, as we know babies are individuals with complex needs, that's why we need lots of tools in our box.

  • @KRYSTALGARY the idea of spoiling the child is controversial one. I would argue that by responding to the child when they cry you are meeting their needs and providing the framework for secure attachment.

  • Great to see so many different backgrounds, all with the same aim of communicating with children.

  • Well done to everyone for getting to the end of week one. I look forward to our focus on the preschool child next week.

  • @AlishaKhan yes the baby is completely dependent on the caregiver and needs to be seen as the mini complex human they are!

  • @AlishaKhan well put, paying attention to baby is key.

  • @MuktaSinghBhandari it is important to recognise the challenges, as parents need to look after themselves in order to provide best care for baby.

  • @janeo'callaghan walking so often helps, it reminds me of when my children were babies and things were always better once we had been out for walk.