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For Justice

Talking Mats is widely used across a variety of settings in the justice sector.  

Practitioners, including Intermediaries, Youth Justice workers, Forensic Psychologists, Social Workers, Forensic Speech and Language Therapists, use Talking Mats to support the children, young people, and adults they work with to talk about their experiences, views and feelings.

What Impact can Talking Mats have in Justice Settings?  

Talking Mats can:

  • Open up conversations about difficult/abstract topics. 
  • Provide a structure to help understanding, reflection and expression. 
  • Support the person to be involved in their own goal/target setting, by finding out what is important to them and what they would like to focus on. 
  • Enable comparison of people’s views – this can be particularly useful when assessing risk. 
  • Support conversations about potential harm/ safeguarding. 

Given the high incidence of communication difficulties in children, young people, and adults who are part of the Justice system, it is important for practitioners to think about, and adapt, their communication style and practice when working with people who have communication support needs.  Use of the Talking Mats principles, process and visual framework can help explore issues/topics and support individuals with communication difficulties to talk about their feelings, views and experiences. 

Talking Mats Resources which could support your conversations: 


Health and Wellbeing


Consulting Children and Young People


Keeping Safe


We are also in the process of developing a Talking Mats Youth Justice Resource set as part of an NHS England funded Greater Manchester Youth Justice Services project.  We hope to launch this resource in late 2021. 

We recommend that professionals using our resources complete the Talking Mats Foundation courseFind out how to access our Talking Mats Foundation course here.

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