Last year Tamara Blakemore and I completed a project with Uniting NSW exploring best practice in post-separation counselling and mediation, and the summary report has just made available on the Uniting webpage. The full report—Best practice and trends in counselling and mediation services in NSW: A collaborative case study of Uniting—is available here.
The project involved a rapid review, interviews with 30 Uniting staff, a survey of people who had used Uniting counselling and mediation services and a review of Uniting’s counselling and mediation policy and practice documents.
Uniting values a culture of evidence for, and from, practice and has a long tradition of supporting family wellbeing through their post-separation counselling and mediation services. Together with a team from the University of Newcastle, Uniting have undertaken an extended program of collaborative research exploring best practice in post-separation counselling and mediation.
What does existing evidence identify as best practice in post-separation counselling and mediation services?
Rapid review of the available evidence identifies the following best practice principles for post-separation counselling and mediation services:
- Best practice is flexible, facilitative and fit for purpose
- Practitioners are critical for best practice outcomes
- Best practice requires appreciation of factors that frame client’s experiences and likely outcomes (i.e., it is responsive to context and complexity)
- Best practice meets multiple and often conflicting aims & objectives of diverse populations of clients.