dolan devaney innocenti may 2014

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Family support for families at risk -------------------------------------- Professor Pat Dolan and Dr Carmel DevaneyUNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUI GalwayIncorporating Research into Practice

1Not about Static or New Solutions for Families at Risk

Family Support Sources (Network Kin and others)TypesQualityAmount(Limitations of Support)Power of Parental Hidden Support (Bolger et al 2009)

Sources of SupportInformal (naturally occurring relationships with family friends and neighbours)Formal (professional services with supportive roles for children and families) Semi-Formal Sources (paid mentors, volunteers)There are instances when more formal supports are necessary. (Thompson, 1995; Gilligan, 2000; Gardner, 2003).

4Importance / Evidence of Informal Social Support for Young People at RiskInformal Social Support - the Bread and Butter of Relationships (Garbarino and Whittaker 1983)Social Support an Underpinning theoretical Framework for Family Support

TEA as a model for Types of Social Support Dolan and Brady 20126Qualities of Social SupportDolan and Brady. 2012CloseAdmonishPositivelyReciprocalDurable7Informal Social Support Families at RiskAttachmentAge/StageLifecourseResilienceSocial EcologySocial CapitalFrom Veterans Devaney 2011Informal Social Support Young People at RiskNatural and Abundent Non Stigmatising Cheap InterventionFamily Greatest Source of SupportFamily Greatest Source of HarmStrengths based A strengths based perspective rather than a deficit model - a cornerstone of practice in Family Support (Dunst et al., 1992; Saleeby, 1997; Gardner, 2006; Pinkerton and Dolan 2007).

Smith and Davis (2010) advocate choice, participation, anti-discrimination and timeliness employ peoples own solutions at the centre

Saleeby (1997) argues for, groups and communities to meet the challenges faced, - working collaboratively using peoples own resilience to achieve change.

10Incorporating a strengths based approach in practiceAll families have strengths. unique & depend upon culture, background, beliefs, & socioeconomic statusFailure of a family to display competence must not be viewed as a deficit but rather as a failure in the system to create opportunities for the competency to be displayed or learnedInvolves a shift away from the belief that experts should solve the families problems & towards empowering families to master the challenges in their own livesGoal of intervention not doing for people, but as strengthening the functioning of families -less dependent on professionals. Requires acceptance but also valuing individual difference; a shift away from the use of treatment & towards using prevention models (Dunst, 1995)

11Prevention & early intervention Barlow et al. (2010) emphasise a focus in universal service provision on preventing difficulties arising in the first instance Starting point is key

Sheppard (2009) actions of families themselves, in particular parents, ought to also be included in the prevention continuum.

Refers specifically to the actions of parents in the stages prior to the involvement of services, & the actions families will take to ameliorate or resolve a situation.

12Review of Family Inquiries - Ireland(Buckley and O Nolan DCYA 2013)Kilkenny Incest Case Report (1993) Kelly Fitzgerald Report (1996) West of Ireland Farmer Report (1998)Monageer Report (2009) Roscommon Child Care Case (2010)Review of Family Inquiries Ireland

early intervention, family support, out-of-hours services and staff welfare were common themes.Review of Family Inquiries Ireland

Need for better identification/ vigilance of children with signs of vulnerability/risk Ability to challenge the views of other professionals Skills Sets, including multidisciplinary training on different topics. Policy Rich Implementation PoorProgramme itis Reinventions

The Strange Case of Family Group Conferencing (Connolly 2009- Byrne & Devaney in press)Pecoras 5 point Litmus test in FS work and risk

Is the Child or Young Person:At homeIn school/WorkWanted by the Law (actively)Mental Health ok?Physical Health ok?

ProgrammesFor Families at RiskProgrammesFor Families at RiskRelationship FactorProgrammesFor Families at RiskRelationship Factor(Style andReflective Practice)AGENCYYoung PersonFamily &Social NetworkProgrammesFor Families at RiskRelationship Factor(Style andReflective Practice)AGENCYYoung PersonFamily &Social NetworkNuances &Flexibility CulturalCompetent

Protective FactorsRisk FactorsResilience Factor Balance in Person(Rutter et al 2012)

Protective FactorsRisk FactorsResilience Factor in EcologyE.G Civic Engagement (Dolan 2012; McArdle 2013 )Working with Children/Youth at risk and FamiliesThrough Family Support A - ModelsBy Area

By Age/Stage

By Adversity

By Asking

Dolan et al in press24Ask the Real Questions?Would this Work For Me/Family?Would I use it or recommend it for my children parents or other family member ?Go Raibh Maith Agat!!!