March 6, 2018

Guidelines for Difficult Conversations

A difficult conversation is a discussion between or among individuals that has the potential to lead to conflict or highly negative emotional reactions. In child welfare settings, difficult conversations may involve (a) delivering bad news, for example a decision to continue an emergency out-of-home placement or to terminate parental rights (b) confronting parents, foster parents, attorneys or other professionals with information and perspectives with which they are likely to disagree or confronting the unacceptable behavior of peers, supervisors, managers or other professionals (c) engaging in dialogue regarding controversial subjects or decisions. The training may also prove useful in resolving internal conflicts within or between units or in discussions of differences between and among caseworkers, supervisors and managers.