Developing effective professional relationships
Human relationships are core to the delivery of
effective services, no matter how programmes and funding may
Developing effective professional relationships makes a real
difference to outcomes for children, yet too often this is
What we did
We commissioned York Consulting to undertake research to
articulate how we develop effective relationships with vulnerable
We also wanted to see how these relationships make a
difference for children and young people.
As part of this research we have produced:
- A skills framework identifying the qualities,
experience, skills and knowledge that are essential to
developing effective professional relationships with vulnerable
parents in order to improve outcomes for children.
- An organisational framework
which identifies organisational qualities that support the
development of effective relationships. It also provides examples
of how Action for Children services are delivering these
A final study report which
provides examples of how our services are delivering effective
What we found
Our study identified the following approaches, used in Action
for Children's services, worked well with parents:
Consistency in approach
Parents spoke highly about the consistency of support
provided by Action for Children services. They valued that
practitioners always did what they said they would.
Flexible and non-prescriptive delivery
Providing flexible, needs-led delivery was an important
driver in Action for Children's ability to meet needs and improve
outcomes of children, young people and families.
Facilitating multi-agency services
Action for Children practitioners played a central role
in effectively co-ordinating support with other agencies,
facilitating multi-agency meetings, and adopting a lead
professional or key worker role.
Supporting Service Accountability
Our practitioners encouraged and challenged other
services to meet their responsibilities for children, young people
and families. This reflects the child and action-focused
ethos of Action for Children services.