Emerging Minds

Engaging children: Rich pictures

About the course

In this course you will work towards developing your confidence to utilise a range of practice skills for beginning to develop a rich picture of children’s strengths, skills, know-how and values. These skills can provide a foundation for reducing the impact of problems on their mental health and social and emotional wellbeing.


Course commencement

Module One provides you with some important information as you commence this course.

Collaborate or perish

Module Two will explore practices that reflect a commitment to collaborating with children.

Getting onto 'good at'

Module Three will explore practices for opening up conversations with children about their strengths, skills and know-how.

Another window to strengths and skills

Module Four will explore how to begin and draw on conversations with parents about the child’s strengths and skills and know-how, in ways that are useful for your work with the child.

When words are few

Module Five will explores the options available to practitioners in responding when children say very little.

Let toys do the talking

Module Six will provide some ideas for how to utilise toys to support engagement with children in relation to their strengths, skills and know-how.

When it’s not going so well

Module Seven considers some ideas for responding when it seems that a session with a child is not going so well.

Course completion

Module Eight provides you with the information you need to successfully complete this course.

Welcome to Engaging children: Rich pictures

Learning aims

In this course you will work towards developing your confidence to utilise a range of practice skills for beginning to develop a rich picture of children’s strengths, skills, know-how and values. These skills can provide a foundation for reducing the impact of problems on their mental health and social and emotional wellbeing. Skills include:

  • how to collaborate with children throughout your work together
  • how to begin conversations with children about their strengths, skills and know-how
  • how to begin and utilise conversations with parents about the child’s strengths and skills and know-how
  • how to respond when children say very little
  • how to utilise toys to support engagement with children in relation to their strengths, skills and know-how; and
  • how to respond when it seems the session is not going well. 

Engaging children e-learning series

This video introduces you to the Engaging children suite of e-learning courses. It is recommended that you complete the initial Engaging with children course prior to proceeding with this course. 


As you work through the course, it is important to be aware of your own emotional responses. Please follow these self-care tips below and seek help if needed: 

  • We do not recommend undertaking the entire course in one sitting. Give yourself some breaks. Even if you don’t feel that you need a break, it’s a good idea to take one anyway and come back later. 
  • Be aware of your emotions as you progress through the course, and take action if you are starting to feel stressed or upset. For example, consider taking a break and doing something for yourself that you enjoy. 
  • Be aware of your emotional responses after you complete the course. 


If at any point you find you are struggling, please talk with your supervisor, seek help, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14, Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636, or SANE Australia on 1800 18 7263. 

Some essential place strategies for self-care include: 

  • being prepared – thinking through the ‘what-ifs’ step by step 
  • understanding personal signs of being overwhelmed 
  • setting prompts that will notify you that you need to pull back 
  • pre-determining how you will pull back, and how you know you will be okay OK to re-engage 
  • linking into peer supports 
  • engaging in, and prescheduling, regular stress-reduction activities; and 
  • seeking opportunities to reflect on your experiences with your professional colleagues. 

You will explore specific tips for self-care for yourself later in this course. These are also relevant to your staff and your family. 


For the purposes of this course, the term parent encompasses the biological and adoptive parents of a child, as well as individuals who have chosen to take up a primary or shared responsibility in raising that child.

Social and emotional wellbeing refers to the way a person thinks and feels about themselves and others. It incorporates behavioural and emotional strengths and is a facet of child development.

In broad terms, social and emotional wellbeing is the foundation for physical and mental health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is a holistic concept which results from a network of relationships between individuals, family, kin and Community. It also recognises the importance of connection to Land, culture, spirituality and ancestry, and how these affect the individual.

Social and emotional wellbeing is also used by some people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, who may have differing concepts of mental health and mental illness.

This course refers to children aged 4–12 years.

Ready to start learning?

Register today to access.