We know that local authorities want to take advantage of this new way of thinking about best meeting families’ needs. For some it will be a radical overhaul and for others a question of bringing existing arrangements together, consulting with families about what they want for themselves and others.
Tavistock Relationships is delighted that Family Hubs will put relationships at the heart of family help. But what does that really mean? Some local authorities have asked for help in how to assess relationship quality, between parents (whether they live together or apart), the parent-child relationship and wider family connections and networks. Relational practice will be the guiding principle, and this can feel daunting, how can we help all staff be interested in and curious about relationships? We need to support staff to be able to ask kind questions and to bear to hear the answers. This approach holds good for all families, whether it is a pregnant couple, parents struggling to respond to a one-year old’s crying, parents coming to terms with the fact their child is different or has a diagnosis that they need to understand or parents struggling to help their teenager cope with bullying or stresses at school.
Some parents need flexible early interventions that help resolve problems, others will need the chance to work with staff for longer to resolve deep seated issues, they all deserve and need work that has positive evidence of effect, offered by a worker who is well trained and supervised. Staff from the different professional groups, working within the Family Hub or associated with it, need to have excellent relationships too, to help their work with families. Co-working and cross-agency working should be ordinary practice, but it can be challenging as well, with differences in culture and practice to overcome, not least with sharing agreed information about families. With a focus on children with disabilities and children under two years old with infant mental health or attachment issues collaboration across the Family Hub community is vital.
Tavistock Relationships provides a range of services designed to help Family Hubs delivery the relationally focused approach which the Government has signalled they are expected to provide.
We have borne in mind the central principles referenced by the National Centre for Family Hubs: Access, Connection and Relationships. We want to help you and your staff put relationship quality at the heart of Family Hub development and practice. This extends, of course, to the relationships of trust and change that workers make with families using the services.
Download our brochure and learn about our Family Hubs offer.