Services such as Family Team Conferencing reinforce family values, appropriately resolve family conflicts and improve communication among family members in a natural environment, such as the family’s home or a local library, church or community center. Our programs strengthen parenting skills and household management, integrate families into their communities and create stable, nurturing homes. Through this supportive process, we equip parents with the necessary tools to cope with the daily stresses of family life.
Almost everyone can identify a time when they formed a team, sometimes involving professional help, to meet a specific need. In a crisis, families need a support network of people they trust who can help in responding to the issues they face.
That’s where Partnership for Strong Families steps in. Our trained facilitators work with the family team to:
- Learn what the family hopes to accomplish
- Set reasonable and meaningful goals
- Recognize and affirm the family strengths
- Assess family needs
- Find solutions to meet family needs
- Design individualized supports and services that match the family’s needs and build on its strengths
More than 20 years ago, governmental and community leaders in New Zealand came together to develop progressive child welfare and a youth justice policy that created the Family Team Conference. This legislation became a beacon of hope for many countries. In the U.S., the implementation of family team decision-making practices swelled from six communities in 1996 to more than 300 in 2007. Judicial and administrative leaders, practitioners and community organizers now champion it as “the way to do child welfare.” Results show that when extended families and the community are included in making decisions, we have a much greater chance of keeping our children safe from harm.
Principles of the Family Team Process
- The focus is on the needs rather than the symptoms
- People are capable of change
- All people and families have strengths
- A solution that a family generates with a team is more likely to fit that family
- A family is more invested in a plan in which they believe
- Family members and friends can identify solutions that no formal system would be able to generate
- Family and friends provide love and caring in a way that no formal helping system can
- When you bring together a number of caring people in the same room you obtain energy that fuels the engine of change