Using Chatta to Support a Foster Child
“The little girl I look after is almost 3 years old and I have heard more language from her in the last few weeks by using chatta than she has ever used in independent play. Chatta is a fantastic tool; it is current, interesting and children love it!” Karen (Foster Carer)
Karen is a respite foster carer and uses chatta in a variety of ways. She takes photographs when the little girl she cares for is engaged in activities and free play and puts these into ‘chats’. Later on they sit down together and Karen models very simple sentences to go with the photographs. Karen says the response has been fantastic. “She wants to do it and loves hearing her own voice.”
Karen reports that the impact was almost immediate; after only a couple of ‘chats’ she could already see an improvement in her foster child’s confidence and use of language. Karen attributes the success of chatta to its capacity for “engaging young children in the moment; making it interesting to them and exciting to use”.
Chatta has also been useful in establishing routines; for example she created a three frame ‘chat’ for bedtime with pictures of a bath, bottle and bed. They then attached recordings of their voices to each picture and at bedtime listen to the routine together.
Karen finds chatta a simple and practical way of assessing and developing the communication and language skills of the children she cares for. She is able to extend the children’s vocabulary and use of language through modelling. Instead of just saying “red car”, she will say “It is a big, red car.”
Karen has worked with the chatta team and confirms that “the help and support given has been excellent.” She also highly recommends chatta “as a tool for positive parenting” to other parents and foster carers. In short Karen sums up chatta as “a current and interesting tool that enables children and parents to learn together.”