On Storyboarding: an add-on to TLSW

Storyboarding is used mainly by creatives in cinema, TV, advertising and so on, as a visual way to represent a storyline. Similarly, it can be used by social workers and other professionals working in mental health, addictions, child protection and child abuse. So write Hiles, Essex, Fox and Luger in a paper titled: The ‘words and pictures’ storyboard: making sense for children and families.

The authors make reference to life story work, adding that the purpose of storyboards is ‘more specific’.

‘It’s purpose,’ they write, ‘is to explain difficult issues or concerns so that the child or young person knows what the worries are, that it is ok to talk about them with close significant adults, and their parents/carers want them to feel safe and able to seek help should the need arise’.

The process differs from TLSW in that a first draft, in words, is co-authored with parents/carers, before being shown to the child. The child is then encouraged to read the story, following the pictures and text, as in this illustration from the article:


The illustrations are very simple, stick figures, with no attempt at realism. The development process is interesting, and might be transferred to TLSW, as shown here:


The authors note this process was first used in the context of child abuse, before being extended to ‘explain traumatic death, domestic violence, alcohol and substance misuse and serious mental health problems to children’.

Well worth a look.

Author: john pitt


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