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ENGAGING RELUCTANT AND RESISTANT FAMILIES. WELCOME Welcome to 1 day training on Engaging Reluctant and Resistant Families 9.30 – 4.30 Lunch at 12.30pm.

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Presentation on theme: "ENGAGING RELUCTANT AND RESISTANT FAMILIES. WELCOME Welcome to 1 day training on Engaging Reluctant and Resistant Families 9.30 – 4.30 Lunch at 12.30pm."— Presentation transcript:


2 WELCOME Welcome to 1 day training on Engaging Reluctant and Resistant Families 9.30 – 4.30 Lunch at 12.30pm Housekeeping arrangements, fire, lavatories, refreshments

3 TASK Your name, and the kind of work that you do Whats brought you here for this day

4 AIMS FOR THE DAY Understand the variety of ways in which families can fail to engage and cooperate, and explore some of the causes Have an increased awareness of helpful strategies Be clear about maintaining professional boundaries and keeping themselves safe Be clear about the need to effectively assess risk factors affecting children who are being cared for by uncooperative adults Understand the importance of multi-agency practice Be aware of some practical strategies for managing the work

5 PROGRAMME 9.30:Welcome and Introductions 10.15: Defining Reluctant and Resistant Families 11.00: Refreshments 11.15: Assessments: Working in Partnership and Multi Agency work 12.30: Lunch 1.30: Working with Strengths 2.00: Trigger Families 2.20: Managing Violence and Challenging Behaviour 3.15: Refreshments 3.30: Support and Systems 4.15: Ending 4.30: Close

6 GROUP AGREEMENT Phones Timekeeping Confidentiality Participation Respect Richness of difference Ok to be serious and to be playful Take care of ourselves and try hard not to make assumptions

7 FEELINGS ALERT The day will be personally challenging and emotionally charged Will involve thinking about our own experiences Will involve thinking about personal and professional experiences Will involve thinking about emotional responses as starting point for professional responses

8 AINLEE LABONTE Born 24th June 1999 Died 7th January 2002 The assessment of Leannes relationship with her daughter….was lost in the power struggle between Leanne and the agencies. Leanne and Dennis were aggressive to all professional staff and in turn each agency limited the contact. Health Visitors and Housing staff would not visit her home because of intimidation. Leanne and Dennis were barred from the Housing Office and staff at clinics and hospitals would only see them when supervised.

9 AINLEE LABONTE Born 24th June 1999 Died 7th January 2002 One by one the agencies withdrew for personal safety issues…..….The communication between the agencies was not constructive; the different perceptions and failure to convey the implications of not accessing the family were not assessed.

10 AINLEE LABONTE Born 24th June 1999 Died 7th January 2002 There were concerns for the welfare of the children and attempts to make sure they received health care, but the impact on them of the violence of their parents was not evaluated. The children were living in an environment that adults were not prepared to visit.

11 AINLEE LABONTE Born 24th June 1999 Died 7th January 2002 The essential good practice issue has to be that if the parents create the responses in professionals, which cause them to retreat, then what must the experience be for the children? Taken from the Integrated Review into Ainlees death.

12 TASK Think individually about a parent or family youve found difficult to engage DONT choose a piece of work where there are lots of unresolved or unhappy issues Write down a brief anonymous summary of your work with them

13 ESSENTIALS THAT UNDERPIN THE WORK Workers trained, developed and supported to carry out the level of work expected of them. Clear, published statement about unacceptable behaviour Risk assessment and clear structures underpinning all Managing Violence policies. Culture of working with the strengths of families. Support in thinking about, understanding and dealing with feelings and thoughts. Threats and violence never minimised -always taken seriously. Equality issues key in providing good services to all families. Communication, discussion, sharing good practice and agreement underpinning all multi-disciplinary work.

14 TASK In 3 small groups, discuss: What are some of the kind of behaviours that characterise difficult to engage families? What are the most challenging behaviours for you?

15 POSSIBLE REASONS FOR NOT ENGAGING A refusal to acknowledge that there is a problem Resentment of invasion of privacy Having something to hide Resentment of interference Cultural differences Not understanding what is expected and why

16 POSSIBLE REASONS FOR NOT ENGAGING Poor previous experiences of involvement Resentment of staff changes Dislike or fear of authority figures Fear that children will be taken away Fear of oppressive judgements (particularly for disabled or substance misusing parents)

17 POSSIBLE REASONS FOR NOT ENGAGING Fear of stigmatisation Being overwhelmed by emotional pain, depression, anxiety and guilty Having nothing to lose, if children have already been removed

18 TASK Turn to the person next to you, and think about the list of possible reasons. Have you ever dealt with anything on the list? What didnt help? What did help? Is there anything youd add to the list?

19 ASSESSMENTS:THE CHILD Children and young people may: have become desensitised to violence have learnt to appease and minimise be too frightened to speak about their own experiences feel guilty and anxious identify with the aggressor and share their hostility and aggression

20 ASSESSMENTS: THE WORKER Am I colluding in avoiding conflict by focusing on safe issues Am I changing my behaviour to avoid conflict? Am I afraid to confront the family about my concerns? Am I keeping my anxieties and fears to myself and not sharing them with colleagues and manager

21 ASSESSMENTS: THE WORKER Do I suspect the child may be keeping itself safe by not telling me things? Do I think the child has learnt minimising and appeasing behaviour? Do I feel relief when no one is in? Do I feel relief when I finish a visit?

22 ASSESSMENTS:THE WORKER Do I say, ask and do what I usually do when making an assessment? HOW DO I THINK THE CHILD FELT WHEN I LEFT? WHEN I LEFT?

23 TASK Individually, create an Eco map to show your relationships with other agencies. What are some of the positives and some of the challenges? What are some of the stereotypes and fantasies that can exist?

24 MULTI AGENCY WORK Splits between agencies can result in: individuals and agencies blaming each other and colluding with the family those who are not experiencing hostility can find themselves taking all the responsibility those who are approved of and praised by the family may feel gratified and unable to accept that there are problems or risks

25 MULTI AGENCY WORK those feeling under threat can feel that it is personal no unified or consistent plan being made to inform and coordinate the work

26 MULTI AGENCY WORK If all agencies experience hostility, this should be managed on an inter-agency basis. If this doesnt happen: everyone may back off, leaving the child unprotected there may be a split between those who want to appease and those who want to oppose everyone may collude

27 MULTI AGENCY WORK When working with uncooperative, hostile or violent parents it is ESSENTIAL that everyone: is aware of the impact on their own response and on other people respectful of the concerns of others aware of the vital need to share information about safety concerns

28 MULTI AGENCY WORK is actively supportive of each other and their different experiences is open and honest when disagreeing is aware of the dangers of collusion

29 MULTI AGENCY WORK is open to discussing strategies if one agency is unable to work with the family is aware that workers in different settings and roles may have different thresholds of concern and different experiences of having to confront difficult behaviour.

30 TASK In pairs-share a time when you felt powerless DONT focus on an experience where there are lots of unresolved or unhappy issues How did you feel? What impact did your feelings have on what you did? Repeat for a time when you felt powerful

31 KEY EQUALITY ISSUES Particular resources Language Workers and family's identity Euro-centric child development How are men included? Is specialist input needed? Support and supervision

32 TASK In three small groups, think about the family. Use a weakness model to think about them. Well share, and then consign the model to the bin. Return, and use a strengths model.

33 WHAT HELPS Being formal and being clear that aim of the work is to achieve the very best for the child Being clear and confident about your authority Using supervision and support Working with the parents feelings and past history Being clear when enough is enough Feeling fully supported by colleagues, manager and agency

34 WHAT DOESNT HELP Being convinced youre incompetent and a failure Seeing the situation as a battle which must be won Colluding Focusing on personal fears and anxieties at the expense of being alert to the childs needs and experiences Avoiding thinking about negative information Feeling helpless and unable to make decisions

35 THREATENING BEHAVIOUR Deliberate silence Written threats s and telephone calls Intimidating or derogatory language Racist and other oppressive remarks Physical intimidation Swearing Shouting Throwing things Physical violence

36 THE IMPACT OF HOSTILITY AND VIOLENCE Surprise Embarrassment Denial Distress Shock Fear Self doubt

37 THE IMPACT OF HOSTILITY AND VIOLENCE Anger Guilt Numbness Loss of self-esteem and confidence Helplessness

38 THE IMPACT OF HOSTILITY AND VIOLENCE Sleep disturbances, including nightmares Repetitive stressful thoughts Illness Post traumatic stress

39 INCREASED IMPACT Previous traumatic experiences Regularly in threatening and violent situations Threatened in their personal lives Male workers find it difficult to admit to being afraid A culture of denying or minimising violent episodes Violence and abuse directed at race, disability, gender or sexual orientation

40 MAKING SENSE OF HOSTILE RESPONSES Are you prepared, and supported? Have you aggravated the situation? Does the parent have a legitimate complaint? Is the parent aware of the impact they are having? Is the behaviour deliberately threatening and abusive? Is this ordinary behaviour for this family?

41 TASK In pairs, focus on the first question. What has been your experience of dealing with threats or violence? What do you think the culture about violence is, in your work place? Whats positive? Whats challenging?

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