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Common Core

The Common Core of Skills and Knowledge for the children’s workforce sets out the basic skills and knowledge needed by all people (including volunteers) whose work brings them into regular contact with children and young people.

Who is the Common Core for?

The Common Core provides everyone who works with children and young people in a part-time, full-time or voluntary capacity with the essential skills and knowledge they need.

What are the Common Core skills?

There are six key areas of skills and knowledge in the Common Core. The definitions below were identified by children and young people:

1. Effective communication and engagement
Good communication is central to working with children, young people and their families. It involves listening, questioning, understanding and responding to children, young people and those caring for them.

2. Child and young person development
Children and young people grow up and develop at different speeds, emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually. It is important to understand how developmental changes can impact on a child or young person’s behaviour.

3. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of the child
Anyone who works with children and young people has a duty to safeguard and protect their welfare. This is a big responsibility and requires special care and attention to ensure positive outcomes for children and young people.

4. Supporting transitions
Children and young people pass through a number of stages as they grow up and develop. Often they are expected to cope with huge changes such as moving from pre-school to primary school or from Registered Childminder to pre-school. These changes are referred to as transitions. The Common Core helps practitioners to support children and young people during these transition periods.

5. Multi-agency working
Multi-agency working is about different services working in partnership in order to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. It is most effective when agencies work together with shared aims and goals.

6. Sharing information
Sharing information in a timely and accurate way is an essential part of helping to deliver better services. Sometimes it helps save lives. It is important to understand and respect issues and legislation surrounding the control and confidentiality of information.

The Common Core joins up these six areas of skills and knowledge and provides a common platform of understanding across the children’s workforce. It reflects a set of common values for practitioners that promotes equality, respects diversity and challenges stereotypes. The Common Core also acknowledges the rights of children, young people and the role parents, carers and families play in helping children and young people. Further information about the six areas of the Common Core is available on the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) website at www.cwdcouncil.org.uk/common-core

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