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INTRODUCTION TO FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE. FEBRUARY 2009. HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE AND POLICY IN IRELAND. Church, state and voluntary charitable organisation responsible for child welfare and policy. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1959) enacted in Ireland (1996)

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HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE AND POLICY IN IRELAND.

  • Church, state and voluntary charitable organisation responsible for child welfare and policy.
  • UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1959) enacted in Ireland (1996)

Article 2: All rights apply to all children without exception. The state is obliged to protect children from any form of discrimination and to take positive action to promote their rights.

  • Childcare Act (1991) enacted (1996)

~ Interagency and inter professional practice

~ Multi-disciplinary approaches

~ Public Awareness

~ Child Protection.

background continued
BACKGROUND CONTINUED
  • Report on the Kilkenny Incest Case (McGuinness, 1993) – Family Support Measures and primary preventative measure.
  • Children’s First Guidelines- HSE responsibility, guidelines for child protection.
  • Children’s Rights Alliance (1983)
  • Domestic Violence Act (1996)
  • Report on the Commission on the Family (1998)
  • Launch of Springboard (1998)
  • Family Support Act (2001)
  • Family Support Agency (2001)
  • Victoria Climbie Inquiry (2003)
  • Ferns Inquiry Report.
definining family support there is no one clear definition of family support
DEFININING FAMILY SUPPORT:There is no one clear definition of Family Support………..

FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE AIMS TO:

  • Integrate programmes combining, voluntary, statutory, community

and private sectors.

  • Positively re-enforce informal social networks.
  • Target the hard to reach and the most vulnerable who are at risk.
  • Intervene early across a range of levels and needs.
  • Promote and protect health, well-being and the rights of all

children, young people, their families and communities.

  • Undertake a style of work that is based on operational practice and

principles.

  • Encompass a wide range of activities and types of services.
definitions
DEFINITIONS
  • ‘Family Support is recognised as both a style of work and a set of activities that reinforce informal social networks through integrated programmes. These programmes combine statutory, voluntary, community and private services and are generally provided in own homes and communities’ (Dolan, Canavan)
  • At a government level it is recognised as the significant potential as a primary preventative strategy for all families facing ordinary challenges of day-to-day living’ (Commission on the Family)
definitions6
DEFINITIONS
  • The Family Support Strategy is grounded in the firm belief in the fundamental importance of families and family life for individuals, communities and society in general’ (Family Support Agency).
  • In using the term family support, the forum is reffering to a set of beliefs and an approach to strengthening and empowering families and communities so that they can foster the development of children, youth and family members’ (Family Resource centre National Forum)
community development and family support
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT
  • Family Support has tended to work within the micro and mezzo levels.
  • Community Development seeks to address the macro level of the environment.
  • Communities provide an important context and environment in which family support can be developed and sustained.
principles of family support practice
PRINCIPLES OF FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE

1. Working in Partnership is an integral part of Family Support Partnership includes, children, families, professionals and communities.

2. Family Support Interventions are needs led and strive for the minimum intervention required.

3. Family Support requires a clear focus on the wishes,feelings, safety and well-being of children.

4. Family Support promotes the view that effective interventions are those that strengthen informal support networks.

principles continued
PRINCIPLES CONTINUED

5. Family Support services reflects a strengths based perspective which is mindful of resilience as characteristic of many children and families lives.

6. Family Support is accessible and flexible in respect of location, timing, setting needs and can incorporate both child protection and out of home care.

7. Families are encouraged to self refer and multi- access referral paths will be facilitated.

8. Involvement of service users and providers in the planning, delivery and evaluation of family support services is promoted on an ongoing basis.

principles continued10
PRINCIPLES CONTINUED

9. Services aim to promote social inclusion, addressing issues around ethnicity, disability and rural/urban communities.

10. Measures of success are routinely built into provision

so as to facilitate evaluation based on attention to the outcomes for service users and there by facilitate ongoing support for quality services based on best practice.

comparing community development and family support practice principles
COMMUNITY

DEVELOPMENT:

Collective

Participatory

Empowering

Process and Task

Improves quality of life

Confronts Prejudice

Equality

FAMILY SUPPORT:

Partnership

Needs led/Involvement of service users

Strengths based

Accessible and Flexible

Anti-discriminatory

Strengthens informal social networks

COMPARING COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY SUPPORT PRACTICE PRINCIPLES
social support theory
SOCIAL SUPPORT THEORY

“Social Support is defined as behaviours that assist people who are undergoing difficult life circumstances to cope effectively with problems they face”

types of social support
TYPES OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • Emotional:Caring, empathy, concern.
  • Esteem:Belief in individuals ability
  • Nurturant:Both of above.
  • Information:Suggestions, advice.
  • Tangible:Practical help support
  • Instrumental:Information and tangible.
sources of social support
SOURCES OF SOCIAL SUPPORT
  • Formal
  • Informal
  • Semi-Formal
  • Informal Network
  • Preferred source of social support.
types of social support agents
TYPES OF SOCIAL SUPPORT AGENTS:
  • Veteran Supporter: someone who has

come through the same issue.

  • Mutual Supporter: someone who is going

through the same issue.

  • Enabling Supporter: for a service user to

utiise a service. e.g. supporting someone

who is going to counselling for example.

guidelines of successful social support programmes
GUIDELINES OF SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMMES
  • Based on research that identifies specific barriers to support and targets those barriers.
  • Teaches skills to the recipient.
  • Are longer in duration.
  • Are Optimally timed.( generally in the middle of a crisis - it works better)
  • Clearly specify roles and responsibilities.
  • Target populations of clear need.
  • Ensures rigorous assessment of programmes and evaluations.
social capital
SOCIAL CAPITAL

“Building social capital is at the core of empowerment together with promoting institutional reforms and removing social barriers. It is a critical asset for creating opportunities that enhance well-being for achieving greater security and reduced vulnerability”.

what is social capital
WHAT IS SOCIAL CAPITAL ?
  • Relatively new term to the public, Robert Putmans ‘Bowling Alone’
  • It is about civic engagement, interpersonal trust, effective collective action.
  • The greater the social capital, the increase to quality of life, resources and equality.
  • It is different to social networks, as social capital is concerned with measuring trust/reciprocity between individuals and networks.
social capital continued
SOCIAL CAPITAL CONTINUED
  • It cannot be assumed though that the civic engagement will automatically lead to trust, power and equality need to be considered.
  • The more social capital an individual has the more likely it is to have greater resources and collective action.
  • Social Capital in Community Development is most active in ‘bridging’ and ‘bonding’
continued
Continued
  • ‘Bridging’– in communities struggling to get by – solidarity can be developed to enable them to get by.
  • ‘Bonding’– advancement and establishment of community organisation in community development – getting ahead.
types of social capital
TYPES OF SOCIAL CAPITAL
  • Family Capital (Strengths, bonds amongst family members)
  • Human Capital (those beyond family, community, organisation)
  • Economic (instrumental wealth and accessible resources
model of social capital
MODEL OF SOCIAL CAPITAL
  • Civic Engagement
  • Social Networks
  • Interpersonal Trust
  • Effective Collective Action
  • Individual and Social Benefits.
social justice theory
SOCIAL JUSTICE THEORY

SOCIAL JUSTICE:

  • An individuals right to be treated with positive

regard and affectionate care.

  • An individuals right to a wide ranging body of

legal rights.

  • The individuals attributes or strengths as

defined by a community of interest.

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