The Child’s Voice Toolkit provides the interviewer with ten tools that stimulate conversation and support the child in providing a description of his/ her life, views and wishes. In light of this aim,there are no standard answers provided and the interpretation of the information obtained remains the responsibility of the interviewer. The Child’s Voice Toolkit can be used in a variety of settings. It is useful in assessing or exploring a child’s and experiences of family, school, care and daily routine, self and if relevant divorce. The Child’s Voice Toolkit can be used with individual children or in group work. All worksheets are designed as reusable master templates.

Photo cards

The interviewer obtains information about various aspects of the child’s life, the child’s needs and difficulties that the child may experience. A set of 32 photos included in the Child’s Voice Toolkit is presented to the child. The child makes a selection and is then asked to explain how each card tells something about the child‘s world.

School playground board

A significant part of the child’s day is spent at school. The colourful school playground board is used as a tool to support the child in explaining how she/he experiences school, teachers and peer relationships. The child is asked to find him/herself on the picture. A black and white outline of this drawing is included as a reusable template that the child can colour in.

Neighbourhood board

The colourful neighbourhood board is developed to support the child in explaining his/her world. The board is accompanied by cards of three cars and a taxi. The child chooses the house/s/flat of his/her parents. The child living in more than one home can show you how s/he travels from one house to the other during contact times. We selected houses with open driveways and others with gates and fences. A black and white outline of this drawing and outline drawings of different components in the neighbourhood for instance two houses are included as templates. Other elements of the neighbourhood drawing can be used to support the child in explaining how s/ he experiences or experienced various incidents and arrangements. The neighbourhood drawing can be used to support the child in explaining the routine regarding drop-off an

Township Board

The Township Board and template is used for the child living in a township or rural environment. This board illustrates township living and will put the child familiar with informal settlements at ease.

Risk Factors

Does Anyone have this Problem? card assists the interviewer in determining risk factors and whether specific safety or other considerations are required in, for instance, a Parenting Plan. The picture card included in the Child’s Voice Toolkit depicting eight different problems, supports the child to identify whether any serious difficulties, such as, substance abuse, domestic violence and chronic illness, etc. are present in the family system. The responses of the child can be used to explore the nature and severity of these problems.

The Classroom scene

The classroom scene card provides the interviewer with insight into the child's experience inside the classroom.

Feeling cards

The feeling cards are used to support the child in expressing what makes them feel in a specific manner. The feeling cards can also be used when the child finds it difficult to express his / her feelings.

Mom’s voice and dad’s voice

A range of speech bubble cards provide support for the child to indicate what his parents are saying about one another. It further supports the child in explaining parents' requests to carry messages or keep secrets. This information enables the interviewer to ascertain the nature of the parent-child boundaries and the level of negative involvement that the child is experiencing. It also indicates what the parent is willing to say to the child in a context that the parent perceives as private.

How I feel about divorce or separation

How I Feel about Divorce or Separation card provides the interviewer with insight into the child’s experience of his/ her parents’ separation or divorce.

A typical day in my life

A typical day in my life provides the interviewer with a bird’s-eye-view on the daily life of the child. This technique provides the interviewer with information about:
  • who is involved in the child’s life
  • the activities of the child in a typical day
  • who assumes responsibility for care in various settings

  • the quality of care, and
  • the child’s emotional experience in all these settingsA set of 35 picture cards included in the Child’s Voice Toolkit supports the child in telling the story of a typical day in the child’s life.

    Two week schedule

    This laminated A4 sheet included in the Child’s Voice Toolkit is used to understand from the child when what is happening. For instance, what time school ends on different days and on which days the child is with whom. Use the whiteboard marker to write and draw on the chart. Then take a photo with your cell phone or scan for your records and e-mail it back to your computer. Use this chart to work out with the child which residency and contact plans can work for him or her

    My world

    The My World board is used to explore the child’s relationship, interactions and feelings about specific people. It provides the interviewer with important information about the child’s experience of his/her world and daily living. The My World board included in the Child’s Voice Toolkit provides an opportunity for the child to identify important people in his/her life. The child to chooses him/herself and to place him/herself on the “planet” in the middle of the board. The child places people who are important and those he feels uncomfortable with. There is also the option to place people on the “sad”, “angry” or “happy” planets or to invent their own name for the blank planet.

    Social Media & Technology

    A range of Social Media cards including Skype, messaging, e-mail and a tablet supports the child in explaining how he/she connects with family and friends and how this impacts on the child's relationships.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    • What are the specific settings that I can make use of the Child’s Voice Toolkit? The toolkit can be used to:
    • To enhance emotional assessments
    • In family assessments
    • In therapy with children and families
    • In group sessions with children
    • To canvass children’s views and wishes in mediation and during other legal proceedings
  •  What are the components contained in this toolkit? The toolkit contains the following items: Photo cards, a school playground board, a neighborhood board, a picture card to describe how the child feels about separation; feeling cards, speech bubble cards for mom and dad, a set of 35 picture cards to describe a typical day in his or her life, a laminated A4, two week schedule and a my world board for the child to identify important people in his or her life.
  •  What age must a child be to benefit from this toolkit? The Child’s Voice Toolkit can be used for children up to the age of 12, but some professionals have reported that they have successfully incorporated some of the elements included in the toolkit with older children.
  • What are the benefits of using the Child’s Voice Toolkit?
    • This toolkit incorporates 10 different techniques to facilitate communication with the child
    • It saves time during data collection/interviews
    • It is language free
    • It is culturally diverse
    • It compliments other assessment tools and can be used in conjunction with your own materials.
  • Is the toolkit a psychometrical test? The toolkit is not a test.  It is a tool that supports the practitioner’s interviews with the child. The toolkit compliments other assessment tools.