Conversation Starters

Sometimes it's hard to bring things up with your caregiver or social worker, here are some ways to make starting the conversation feel easier.

Write things down first.

Before you get to your conversation, write down what it is that you want to talk about so you won’t forget any details.

Start with a text.

It can be easier to bring stuff up if you start with a text message to your caregiver or social worker.
E.g“Hi ...., There are some things on my mind at the moment, when is a good time for me to talk to you about this privately?”

Think about what you hope to get out of the conversation. (e.g. simply someone to listen to you or permission for something).

So then you can say why you want to talk and what it is you need
E.g “I need to tell you about a problem I’m having, but I just need you to listen rather than give me advice, ok? I want you to know what’s been bothering me”

Make a quiet time for you to talk.

Rather than acting out of anger or frustration, find a time where you can talk calmly and bring across what it is you need to say.

Just ask.

Sometimes, all you need to do is say “Hey, I’d really like to talk to you about something can we speak now?”. Remember, your caregiver or social worker are there to support you and you should expect to be heard.

Think about how you’re feeling.

Worried? Scared? Angry? Instead of letting feelings overwhelm you or stop you from talking, put them into the conversation. That way your caregiver or social worker knows that you’re feeling uncomfortable.
E.g “I need to talk to you about something but it’s kind of embarrassing”

Tried talking but feel like you're not being listened to?

Here's some people you can get in touch with that can help:

  • Oranga Tamariki on 0508 Family (0508 326 459)
  • The Office of the Children's Commissioner on 0800 224 453
  • Child Rights Advice Line 0800 224 453
    Available Monday and Wednesday 9am to 5pm, Thursday 9am to 4pm.
  • Your Lawyer for Child - if you don’t know who this is or how to get in touch with them, ask your social worker.