Children who have experienced homelessness often tell us that their families are the most important thing in their lives: they protect them from harm and help them feel safe, and they overcome challenges together as a unit. They argue that often the best way for services to support them is by providing their families with the resources, skills and opportunities to resolve their difficulties themselves.
They prefer approaches that recognise and build upon their familyâ€™s strengths, and most value and trust workers who work with them to deal with any interpersonal issues that they might have. Enhancing childrenâ€™s natural supports in this way also ensures that outcomes are more sustainable.
Booklet: My Family is Special
This booklet provides information and tips for seeing each family as unique and special; recognising and building on strengths, skills and capabilities of children and their families; support for parents; family relationships; identifying and working with family issues; relationship-based assessments; skills and tools for working with families; a case scenario and pulse check.
Some of the tools from the Kids Central Toolkit are also available to download below, including:
Tool 3A: Our Strengths (PDF, 233KB)
Can be used to help families identify and celebrate strengths, plan ways to build on their strengths, and get a sense of hope and change for the future.
Tool 3B: All Tied Up (PDF, 190KB)
Can be used to help families identify their strengths and how they rely on each other, help children realise they have positive people around them, and also that they are not the only support people available to their parents / family members; identify additional supports and affirm family relationships and connections.
Tool 3C: Common Ground (PDF, 197KB)
Can be used to highlight family strengths that can be built upon or used to help families plan, and to gain insights into family dynamics, relationships and roles.
Tool 3D: Sentence Stems (PDF, 206KB)
Can be used to assist families with a way to talk about a range of experiences, including difficult ones; and provide an opportunity for families to listen to each others perspectives on their needs, problems, strengths and hopes.
Tool 3E: My Family Collage (PDF, 192KB)
Can be used to help families create a positive picture of their family, see what they have in common, and define what they value, what is important to them, and how they want to be as a family.
Tool 3G: Family Coat of Arms (PDF, 216KB)
Can be used to help families understand each others needs and experiences of being in the family, think through how to meet the needs of different family members, particularly children; draw out common positive experiences and identify simple things that can be done to enhance everyone's happiness and wellbeing.