Category Archive: Family and Friends Tools

What Works to Enhance Inter-Parental Relationships and Improve Outcomes for Children?

The Early Intervention Foundation have carried out a review of ‘What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children.

Key findings include:

  • The quality of the inter-parental relationship, specifically how parents communicate and relate to each other, is increasingly recognised as a primaryinfluence on effective parenting practices and children’s long-term mental health and future life chances.
  • Parents/couples who engage in frequent, intense and poorly resolved inter-parental conflicts put children’s mental health and long-term life chances at risk.
  • Children of all ages can be affected by destructive inter-parental conflict, with effects evidenced across infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
  • The context of the wider family environment is an important factor that can protect or exacerbate child outcomes in response to exposure to inter-parental conflict. In particular, levels of negativity and parenting practices can exacerbate or moderate the impact of inter-parental conflict on children.
  • Inter-parental conflict can adversely affect both the mother-child and father-child relationship, with evidence suggesting that the association between inter-parental conflict and negative parenting practices may be stronger for the father-child relationship compared to the mother-child relationship.

http://www.eif.org.uk/

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Staff need to ask about the family’s strengths as well as difficulties, so that interventions can build upon protective factors. (UCL CAMHS Competence model)

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Knowledge of the different contexts that surround the child/young person and family is crucial for reaching an understanding of their beliefs and behaviour. (UCL CAMHS Competence model)

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There is considerable value in families ‘informal’ reports regarding their problems and any changes they have noticed. However, it is good practice for practitioners to record changes systematically, using measures, questionnaires, or diaries. (UCL CAMHS Competence model)

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The ability to undertake a thorough assessment is crucial if the CAMHS worker is to understand the difficulties that concern the child/young person and family. A multidimensional assessment of the child/young person’s needs aims to analyse different aspects of the child/young person and family’s functioning, and combine information from different methods and types of source. (UCL CAMHS Competence model).

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Many of the CAMHS interventions with the strongest evidence base are delivered in a group format (such as parenting groups, and groups which teach problem solving and social skills). (UCL CAMHS Competence model)

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BRAVE online

 

BRAVE online is an initiative offering psychiatric treatments and self-help for children and adolescents experiencing separation anxiety disorder, social phobia, specific phobia and generalised anxiety disorders.

Read more at ccbt.co.uk

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A Feeling and Action Scale

A Tool for Families: A Feeling and Action Scale

Feeling and Action Scale is a communication tool that can be helpful for the whole family. It allows parents and their child to communicate their feelings and helpful responses in a quick and concise way.

The Feeling and Action Scale is a two-part communication tool. The first part, the Feeling Scale, consists of a range of numbers from 1-5. For each number assigned, the young person also assigns a one-word qualifier to describe how they’re feeling in the moment, or to describe their overall feelings about a situation or event. A 1 on the scale signifies that all is well, while a 5 indicates the young person is experiencing a crisis.

The second part of the scale focuses on actions. The Action Scale is a set of instructions that can help you help the young person when they are dealing with difficult feelings. For each feeling qualifier there should be an action, even if the action is ‘no action’. It’s important to recognise that there should be several action alternatives for each feeling. The ability to implement a specific action will, of course, be dependent on the situation.

The Feeling and Action Scale:

  1. I’m great = No action needed.
  2. I’m fine = No action needed.
  3. I’m so so = I need some alone time in my room.
  4. I’m upset = I need some alone time and then I want to talk with you about what is going on.
  5. I’m in crisis = I need your help.

From: Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual (2010) by Dr Barbara R. Greenberg & Dr Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder PsyD. Read more here.

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Helping parents feel less alone

A web-based resource to help parents feel less alone and give them information to help them cope with their child’s problems

“Parents tell us that, after they discover a son or daughter has been self-harming, they can feel very alone and isolated and may struggle to find help and support.

At the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the charity healthtalk.org, we have developed a web-based resource to help parents to feel less alone and to give them information to help them to cope with their child’s problems. The website includes video, audio and text extracts from interviews with 39 family members of young people who have self-harmed. It covers topics such as the impact on the family, how to support the child, treatment options and advice from other parents, and provides information for parents and carers on what to expect from hospitals, schools and mental health services, plus individual families’ experiences with the healthcare system.

This resource is freely available and can be found here

We hope that viewing this website will help parents who are trying to cope with a child’s self-harm and show them that they are not alone. This is especially important at a time when there is such pressure on children’s mental health services.”

Professor Keith Hawton & Dr Anne Ferrey

Centre for Suicide Research, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford

(Quote from theguardian.com)

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Fathers need support

Fathers need support to spend more time on children and chores

Encouraging men to become more involved as fathers is the key to achieving gender equality, according to a landmark international study…

Hands-on fathers also help produce happier and better-educated offspring, as well as gaining significant benefits to their own physical and mental health, the inaugural State of the World’s Fathers report argues…

Nikki van der Gaag, an academic and author who co-wrote the report, said the findings were crucial in efforts to boost equality: “When fathers take on their fair share of the unpaid care work, it can alter the nature of the relationships between men and women and children, as both fathers and mothers will have more time for their children, women are released from some of their double burden, and fathers get to experience the joys, satisfactions and stresses of caring for their children.”

Read more

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