• additional needs;
  • depth processes;
  • emotion;
  • inclusion;
  • multi-agency working


The work that is done with children and young people by the practitioners of health, education or social care forms part of their experience of growing up, and can have a profound impact on their future outcomes. Children may find themselves ‘impotent at the hands of powerful others’, particularly where their behaviour causes concern. This paper reports on a key theme from the author's doctoral research, demonstrating the ways that the emotion-laden interactions between practitioners in multi-agency children's services, children and parents, affected the diagnosis, treatment, communication and outcomes for children's well-being, as defined within Every Child Matters. Exploring the emotion within interactions permits a different perspective on ‘need’, and finally, the paper argues for a more careful and emotionally reflective practice from those who work with children.