Understanding Family Support provides a definition of family support and a clear perspective on the role that it has in promoting the welfare of children and their families.
Family support is a concept that has been used in a range of ways to describe various aspects of child welfare policy and practice. The authors argue that this weakens family support as an overarching child welfare paradigm. They present a unifying definition of family support along with ten principles and a series of reflective practice questions applicable to: legislation and policy; organisation, management and planning; direct work with children and families; and research and evaluation.
This is an important resource for any professional engaged in policy development, service design, delivering or evaluation of family support, including social workers, residential care staff, community development workers, teachers, community police, human services managers, evaluators and policy makers.
John Canavan is Associate Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, a research and policy centre for which Family Support is a major area of interest. He has over 20 years' experience in undertaking project evaluations and providing policy advice to statutory and voluntary agencies, and to government. Over the last seven years he has led a series of major evaluations on a programme of investment in children's services in Ireland. He teaches on the post qualifying Diploma/MA in Family Support Studies at the National University of Ireland, Galway and co-directs the Structured Ph.D. in Child and Youth Research at the university. His academic writing covers Family Support and related topics, and Evidence Informed Practice. John Pinkerton is an established academic known for his research and writing in the area of family support. His work is heavily influenced by an international perspective. For the last 15 years he has been an international advisor to the Children's Institute, University of Cape Town. In preparation for legislative change in the 1990s he led a research team from Queen's University Belfast in producing a base line study of family support in Northern Ireland. He has advised government on family support in both the North and South of Ireland. His teaching covers both qualifying and post qualifying training in social work. He is Co-Editor of the British Journal of Social Work, leading on its family and child care content. Pat Dolan holds a UNESCO Chair in Children, Youth and Civic Engagement at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He leads the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre and directs the MA in Family Support Studies, which for over 15 years has had the development of family support as a major goal. At different times in his career he has been a successful practitioner and senior manager in the area of family support. Apart from his extensive research experience in the field, he has provided policy advice on family support to national statutory and voluntary agencies and to international organisations. Pat is widely published on Family Support.
1. Taking A Position on Family Support. 2. The Policy and Politics of Family Support. 3. Managing and Leading in Family Support. 4. Direct Work with Children, Parents and Communities. 5. Family Support Evaluation. 6. Family Support as a Globalising Agenda.