COMPLEX FAMILIES AND COMPLEX PROBLEMS: SUPPORTING PRACTITIONERS TO ACHIEVE THERAPEUTIC CHANGE IN FAMILIES AT RISK OR ENGAGED IN CHILD PROTECTION

Sharon Dawe & Paul Harnett
November 8, 2022, 1-2pm AEDT

Abstract

Families on the edge of care or currently engaged in the child protection system face complex and often chronic problems. Parents may have experience of significant loss or trauma in their own lives, substance misuse and mental health problems and a household in which there is chaos and uncertainty. The children growing up in households may have exposure to or be victims of violence and neglect. Supporting families with this complexity typically falls to the family support sector: practitioners who have high case loads, significant workplace stress and often, limited formal education. The Parents under Pressure program provides a structure to support practitioners to support families. Using a framework of practice, practitioners are helped to use case formulation skills to structure a therapeutic family support plan. Critically, this draws from established theory to allow for an individually tailored approach unique to each family. The PuP Online Toolkit provides resources that allow for scoring and feedback on standardized measures, online resources for use with families and, most recently, animations that provide opportunities to discuss PuP principles.