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Developing effective professional relationships

Human relationships are core to the delivery of effective services, no matter how programmes and funding may change

Developing effective professional relationships makes a real difference to outcomes for children, yet too often this is overlooked.

What we did

We commissioned York Consulting to undertake research to articulate how we develop effective relationships with vulnerable parents.

We also wanted to see how these relationships make a difference for children and young people.

Our Research

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 organisational qualities.

  • A final study report which provides examples of how our services are delivering effective relationships.

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.