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Working with families, Leanne McLeod, Education Forum, November 2017


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Education Forum, November 2017

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Working with families, Leanne McLeod, Education Forum, November 2017

  1. 1. Working with Families
  2. 2.  Specialist Education provision for children and young people aged between 5- 14 with complex Social, Emotional and Behavioural Needs.  Provide services on both a national and regional basis, with children being referred by local authorities throughout the whole of Scotland.  We offer a 24 hr curriculum, providing rich opportunities for children to learn and grow within and beyond the classroom.
  3. 3. Parent/Carer Involvement  Ongoing contact via phone, email, visits to Harmeny, Homevisits  Harmeny Parent/Carer group  Parent/Carer events  Family interventions  Resilience Assessment  Supporting family contact
  4. 4. Parent/Carer views……..
  5. 5. Barriers that can Impact on our work with families  Parent/Carers experiences of working with professionals  Family feeling judged/attempting to withhold information for fear of consequences  Individual needs of Parents/Carers and lack of understanding of child’s needs  Substance misuse/mental health difficulties  Location, transport, employment or additional commitments of a family  Lack of relationship/infrequent communication from workers  Confidence and skills of the worker/professional
  6. 6. Resilience Assessment Process 13 week Gathering Information Period Assessment Setting Goals and Targets Direct Work and Interventions Core group meetings & Evaluation
  7. 7. Professional development within teams  Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) is based on and brings together attachment theory, what we understand about developmental trauma, the neurobiology of trauma, attachment and caregiving, intersubjectivity theory and child development.  Troubled children may have had many changes in the people who look after them and find it hard to trust adults. They may believe that parents aren’t safe and can’t always be turned to for comfort and help. They may develop insecure attachments and try to stop their new parents from becoming emotionally close to them (Hughes. D, 2017)
  8. 8. PACE APPROACH PLAYFULNESS Brings enjoyment to the relationship ACCEPTANCE Creates Psychological Safety CURIOUSITY Explore within a relationship- we express a desire to know the other more deeply EMPATHY Communicates our curiousity and acceptance, as we recognise and respond to other’s emotional experiences
  9. 9. Brain Based Parenting Hughes,D (2012)  “Stressed out adults are parenting in survival mode, using primarily the lower, more primative brain systems, which automatically come into play during day to day existence. Such parents need to calm the over reactive limbic and stress response systems and tame the amygdala before they can awaken the prefrontal cortex. In short we must help them dial down their defensive reaction system before they can access the higher brain systems needed for self reflection, emotional, regulation and empathy”
  10. 10. What changed……  Looked at ways to Increase our time with families  More able to hear “their story”  Experience the “child’s world” away from school  Develop connections between home and school  DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONSHIPS
  11. 11.  “Sometimes children’s needs would be met best by meeting their parents personal needs”. P Crittenden (2008) (Raising parents)  “People who are not cared for, don’t care. It’s not seeking attention, its connection.” John Carnochan (2016), former head of Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit
  12. 12. Continuing Challenges……  As workers we continued to feel overwhelmed by the overall needs of the family.  Role modelling was not enough if values/beliefs differed  How to evaluate progress and manage time/resources more effectively  Ways in which to work with the whole “family system” to create long term change
  13. 13.  “The idea of a systems approach is to recognise that the way people behave and the problems they have, develop within the context of people that surround  A systems approach to work with families involves focusing on the whole family as a functioning unit.  The focus of work when taking a systems approach is on the system and the context in which behaviour takes place, not the individual difficulties that bring families to the attention of agencies.  Difficulties do not arise within individuals but in the relationships, interactions and language that develop between individuals, family members 5 Systemic Practice: “Understanding the family system” 500 × 400 -
  14. 14. Considering Systems around the child Child ACAMHS Volunteer Agency Befriending Agency Harmeny School Social Work Educational Psychology Child's Family
  15. 15. Significant events and transitions  Stress in the family’s development is at its highest level as the family move from one phase of life to another. Most families manage transitions, sometimes with difficulty, but a few get stuck in this process and negative behaviour patterns can emerge as family members struggle to adjust to the new situation.  It is important that workers explore, when problematic behaviour started and what was happening in the family around the same time
  16. 16. Developments in Practice “What Is the difference that makes the difference!”  To move away from worker being the expert  Clear and agreed understanding of what it is that needs to change  Increased focus on Genograms and chronologies  Setting homework tasks for family members to undertake between sessions, trying to disrupt existing behaviour patterns in the belief that family might experience different possibilities.  Reflecting team conversation, offers different perceptions and possibilities to families difficulties and beliefs, highlights family strengths.  Therapeutic Documents, reinforces strengths, reframe behaviour,.
  17. 17. Group Discussion  Consider existing barriers and ways to develop Parent/Carer engagement within your organisation.  CONTACT DETAILS:  