‘Think Family’ promotes co-ordinated thinking and delivery of services to safeguard children, young people, adults and their families/carers. Neither children, young people nor adults exist or operate in isolation. We need to recognise that the best way to assess, deliver and review services is to take account of the wider family structures in which an individual exists and for which sensitive and targeted help will be more effective.
We need to recognise that family structures are dynamic and varied far beyond those defined by blood relationships or partners. Family is often constituted by the individuals themselves and is unique to their diverse and individual needs, including class, culture, race, ethnicity, religion and sexuality. Whilst the nature of ‘Family’ will change, the importance of understanding how it impacts on the person and the interdependence of individual support and wellbeing remains vital.
Implications for practice
‘Think Family’ enables staff to:
take a holistic approach to assessment and consider the environment, family, cultural and social systems within which individuals live (e.g. housing, finance, employment, relationships).
gain a better understanding of the links and relationships between risk of poor outcomes and resilience, adult and child, symptoms and parenting, the changing pattern over time, and what to do with the information they gather
understand the risks to health and wellbeing that occur across generations and manage these risks to reduce their impact.