Category Archives: Families & parenting

An introduction to strengths-based practice (a video lecture)

An introductory lecture on strengths-based practice I prepared for students in a course on engaging families and communities. In it I outline 8 principles of strengths-based practice. Continue reading

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An interactive exercise exploring parenting styles

The Alternatives to Violence Project in Newcastle has been exploring workshops on nonviolence and conflict resolution with parents and partners. The following is an exercise Gener Lapina and I have developed (with input from Anne Hoffman) to explore four parenting styles Continue reading

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Interested in postgraduate study in family studies?

If you could be interested in postgraduate study in family studies, the Family Action Centre is offering an online, interactive information session on Wednesday 10th April, 2019 at 7.30pm, Newcastle time. Continue reading

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Power and strengths-based practice

Strengths-based practice fundamentally challenges traditional approaches to power relationships in working with individuals, families and communities. Rather than operating from a position of power-over, strengths-based practice requires us to critically reflect on the dynamics of power in our relationships and to focus on power-with and power-to, and to nurture power-within. Continue reading

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4 types of power: What are power over; power with; power to and power within?

When I first started as a youth worker in 1991, I was working in a medium-term accommodation unit for young people who were homeless. I really struggled with being in a position of authority having just graduated from a welfare … Continue reading

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Special days and dates for families and communities – 2019

There are many international and national days/weeks that focus on issues facing families and communities. The following are some of the more significant ones in 2019. I generally haven’t included the many charity days and days focusing on specific health … Continue reading

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Alternate pathways for young people who have perpetrated violence

I’m excited to have been invited to join this project developed by a colleague in social work, Tamara Blakemore. I’m looking forward to building on my experience with the Alternatives to Violence Project, exploring how we can address domestic and … Continue reading

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Evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes

This post is based on a workshop on evidence-informed practice, evidence-based programs and measuring outcomes that Alan Hayes, Jamin Day and I facilitated for the Combined Upper Hunter Interagencies. The slides from the workshop are above or you can download … Continue reading

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Bringing Alternatives to Violence Project workshops to parents and partners

One of the strengths of Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshops is that they can be easily be adapted to many contexts. Rather than being a set, inflexible program, AVP is based on a number of broad principles and practices … Continue reading

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Evidence-based programs in rural family services

In Australia and elsewhere, government and other funders increasingly require family services to adopt evidence-based programs. For example, Communities for Children[1]—a federally funded program in 52 disadvantaged communities across Australia with a focus on improving early childhood development and wellbeing … Continue reading

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