Tag Archives: Working with families

An example of strengths-based engagement

The following is part of a reflection from Vanessa Linden, one of my students in HLSC6105 (Engaging families and communities) as part of her Master of Family Studies at the University of Newcastle. She was happy for me to share … Continue reading

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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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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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The Alternatives to Violence Project: Reflections on a strengths-based approach to nonviolent relationships and conflict resolution

This is the text of a peer-reviewed paper that Gener Lapina (from AVP and Family Support Newcastle) and I had published as part of the 2018 Family and Relationship Services Association conference. The citation with a link to the published … 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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Strengths-based practice: more than being positive

In strengths-based and asset-based approaches to family and community work we focus on strengths, aspirations and potential rather than problems, needs and deficits by, amongst other things: Consciously looking for the strengths and potential of the people, families and communities … Continue reading

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Creating an online course on engaging families and communities

From 2018, an undergraduate online elective I teach on community engagement at the University of Newcastle will be one of a growing number of courses (or subjects) the Family Action Centre is offering in family studies at both an undergraduate … Continue reading

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Recruitment: an important step in engagement

Without successful recruitment, family and community engagement can flounder. Before programs and other initiatives can successfully engage participants, people need to show up or become engaged in some other way. Although advertising and promotion are not engagement in their own … Continue reading

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