Social services Early Help Strategy

Strengths based approach

Take a strengths based approach and be good listeners

A 'strengths based approach' involves a family member and the services supporting them, working closely together. It allows them to find a solution that uses the families' strengths rather than focusing on difficulties. Young People in Manchester told us ‘get to know me, my strengths and my interests ...don't judge me’.

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In this video you will hear from: A nursery teacher, young person, and health visitor

Becky Jones, Deputy Head of Centres, Martenscroft Nursery School:

I think listening to what families have to say is really, really important. Being non-judgmental, empathising with what their worries and concerns are. It's really, really important to build relationships with parents and families.  They're more likely to open up to you and discuss their worries, their concerns. And then you can go from there and build on that and empower them to doing things for themselves, bringing other professionals in if necessary working as a multi-agency. 

James Plant:

In my school the pastoral carer was a very good listener so she'd always make sure she listened to the end and she wouldn't begin talking until you finished. And then she always made sure to try and get as much detail as possible to help you as best as possible. 

Anne McDermott, Specialist Case Planning Lead / Health Visitor, Manchester Local Care Organisation:

It's vital to start with acknowledging the good work that parents are doing because all families are coping in a variety of ways and have a variety of strengths and have their own resiliencies. 
There may be issues of concern going on in a family, or they may have a child with additional needs that they need extra support with. But if we can acknowledge what they're achieving already, then that helps build the trusting relationship. And it also helps us move on to help them identify what all the problems there are within the household that they then can have support with to address.

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