Using professional expertise in partnership with families: a new model of capacity- building

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of Child and Family Health, 2017, 21 (1), pp. 74 - 84 (11)
Issue Date:
2017-03-01
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The first five years of parenting are critical to children’s development. Parents are known to respond best to interventions with a partnership-based approach, yet child and family health nurses (CFHNs) report some tension between employing their expertise and maintaining a partnership relationship. This article identifies ways in which CFHNs skilfully use their professional expertise, underpinned by helping qualities and interpersonal skills, to assist families build confidence and capacity, and thus buffer against threats to parent and child well-being. It reports on an Australian ethnographic study of services for families with young children. Fifty-two interactions were observed between CFHNs and families in day-stay and home visiting services in Sydney. A new model is presented, based on four partnership activities and the fluid movement between them, to show how CFHNs use their expertise to identify strengths and foster resilience in families in the longer term, without undermining the principles of partnership.
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