THE THINK FAMILY PARTNERSHIP APPROACH
Everyone must think about the following questions every time they meet an individual client:
- How are the needs and behaviour of the individual service user impacting on other members of the family?
- Are there any children in the family? What kind of contact does the service user have with them?
- If the service user is a parent, does he or she need support in their parenting role?
- Is a child a young carer? What kind of care are they providing?
- Is there an adult at risk?
- Have the other members of the family, including vulnerable adults and children, been offered an assessment/support?
- What can be done to help the whole family?
- Which other services are needed to support the family?
- Who is the Lead Practitioner? (see below)
A Multi Agency Approach
The wellbeing of children, vulnerable adults and their families is best delivered through a multi-agency approach with different services working effectively together. The following should be considered:
- Managers will help generate family focused outcome measures. They will take account of Think Family principles and work towards more joint commissioning, allowing creative solutions to family issues which cross agency boundaries;
- When adult and children’s services are providing services to a family, practitioners will form a plan in partnership with the family, building on the family’s strengths, with clear lines of accountability and regular reviews. The child’s and/or adult at risk’s safety and wellbeing will remain as the focus of the plan;
- Services will value and act with reference to the views of parents, children and young people, and families will be supported in making informed choices and in shaping, developing and evaluating services;
- Practitioners will engage with children’s knowledge and expertise to validate their position in family life and acknowledge the responsibilities they may be taking. Practitioners will ask about the child’s or vulnerable adult’s views and feelings in developmentally appropriate language; and as a principle of good practice will try to visit at least once when the child or vulnerable adult is present. A Young Carer’s assessment will be completed where necessary;
- Parents have the primary responsibility for their children’s outcomes. They also have the right to effective support to help them meet their responsibilities. Parents will be supported in their parenting in a respectful, non-stigmatising way;
- Continued Professional development through training and supervision.