1.6.3 Communicating and engaging
Audio: click below to listen to Dev's visit to the Durrant's home.
Transcript: Dev's visit to the Durrant's home - part 1
Activity 9: Communicating and engaging
Listen to the audio of Dev’s visit. Think about Dev’s handling of the Durrant case, the way he communicated and engaged with those involved on the morning after the knife incident. Then answer these questions.
What kind of ‘scene’ is Dev playing out with Arthur? Do you have any worries about how he should relate to Arthur?
How well is Dev establishing the facts of the knife incident?
Is Dev ‘working in partnership’?
Dev plays a scene with Arthur in which he is an efficient investigator of facts and circumstances, and a seeker of solutions. At the same time he is sympathetic and reassuring when he says, ‘Of course it must have been very upsetting’. This is probably helpful in encouraging Arthur to open up to him, but is Dev running the risk of becoming absorbed into Arthur’s definition of the situation? If he plays ‘supporter’ to Arthur does he compromise his relationship with Lynne? Is he allowing Arthur to blame everything on Lynne, instead of steering him towards accepting shared responsibility for what goes on in the family?. Note his discriminatory attitude towards Lynne’s learning difficulties.
Dev has checked whether similar events have happened before. He may need to hear more from the home carer who reported Arthur’s claim about the knife incident. But he will obviously need to hear Lynne’s side of the story too – which seems to be a problem.
At the stage we join them Dev is having difficulty engaging Lynne in a working partnership. There seems to be some danger that he is being drawn into Arthur’s view that Lynne is ‘the problem’. To reach a balanced assessment he will need to consult with the home carer and talk to Lynne. After that, an effective working partnership will need to involve the three of them, as well as Arthur.