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Title: Collaborative Helping: A Practice Framework for Family-Centered Services Bill Madsen Family-Centered Services Project

Collaborative HelpingA Practice Framework for
Family-Centered Services Bill
MadsenFamily-Centered Services
Plan for Day 1Collaborative Helping
  • Context of Family-Centered Services
  • Collaborative Helping as a principle-based
    practice framework
  • Importance of attitude or relational stance
  • Usefulness of a Story Metaphor
  • Questions as interventions
  • A practice framework for Collaborative Helping

Plan for Day 2Collaborative Helping in
Challenging Situations
  • Collaborative Helping in challenging situations
  • Engaging reluctant families
  • Having difficult conversations about concerns and
  • Applying Collaborative Helping in your own work
  • Wrap-up and integration

Family-Centered Services
  • A broad approach to helping families with a wider
    range of services and flexible funding streams
  • Culturally responsive, strengths-based,
    collaborative partnerships, empowerment-focused
    and family-driven
  • Wraparound, systems of care, family group
    conferencing, and signs of safety as examples

Macro and Micro Shiftsin Family-Centered Services
  • In Systems of Care, there are notable
    accomplishments at a macro-level. At a
    micro-level, there is less attention paid to the
    actual conversations between helpers and
  • - Ellen Pulleyblank Coffey (2004)
  • Workers were often operating without a clear
    framework to guide their work and important
    contributions from family therapy about engaging
    families, sustaining working relationships,
    hosting therapeutic conversations and building
    resilience were not being utilized.

Collaborative Helping
  • An integrative principle-based practice framework
    for helping
  • Emphasizes the relational stance we take with the
    people we serve
  • Grounded in a story metaphor
  • Organized around inquiry our expertise is the
    ability to ask compelling questions

Collaborative Helping draws from
  • Appreciative Inquiry
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Narrative, Solution-Focused, and Collaborative
    Therapy Approaches
  • Signs of Safety work in CPS
  • The reported experiences of families.

Decision-Making in Family-Centered Practice
  • This work is messy. It often demands that we
    focus on the exception rather than the rule. At
    the same time, it is important that helping
    responses are grounded in a clearly articulated
    set of assumptions and principles.
  • Efforts to bring order and certainty to work
    characterized by unpredictability run the risk of
    missing the point. We need to (re)discover our
    traditional strengths in working with ambiguity,
    uncertainty and complexity. (Parton and OByrne
  • Social work is in danger of losing its first
    voice of human connectedness and care due to the
    professions desire to validate our actions
    through scientific claims. We need reclaim the
    often obscured local knowledge at a front-line
    level (Weick, 2001).

Disciplined Improvisation
  • Responding to the messiness of everyday
    practice often requires on-going learning with
    flexibility and improvisation.
  • Improvisation is too important to be left to
    chance Paul Simon
  • Disciplined Improvisation Developing flexible
    maps to operationalize family-centered values and
    principles the everyday messiness of practice

Some Advantages of Principle-Based Practice
  • It offers a flexible map to help workers ground
    their work in core principles in the everyday
    messiness of practice.
  • It promotes helper agency and ownership in their
  • It contributes to practice depth and helps new
    developments to stick.

Relational Stance of an Appreciative Ally
  • Standing in solidarity with the people we serve
    to help them develop preferred directions in
  • Respect, Connection, Curiosity, and Hope.

Four Guiding Commitments
  • Striving for cultural curiosity and honoring
    family and community wisdom.
  • Believing in the possibility of change and
    building on family and community resourcefulness.
  • Working in partnership with families and
    communities and fitting services to families
    rather than families to services.
  • Engaging in empowering processes and making our
    work accountable to the people we serve.

Common Factors Literature
Conclusions of APA 29 Task Force on Empirically
Supported Treatment Relationships
  • The therapy relationship makes substantial and
    consistent contributions to psychotherapy outcome
    independent of specific type of treatment.
    Efforts to promulgate practice guidelines or
    evidence-based lists of effective psychotherapy
    without including the therapy relationship are
    seriously incomplete and potentially misleading
    on both clinical and empirical grounds.

Literature from Child Protective Services
  • Best outcomes for children and families occur
    when constructive working relationships exist
    between families and professionals and between
    professionals themselves.

Safety-organized, relationship-based child
welfare practice
  • Olmsted County Minnesota - 1995 2007
  • Children coming into the system tripled.
  • of children taken into care halved
  • of families taken to court halved
  • Recidivism rate - 2 (Federal standard is 6.7
    which very few states meet)

Considering the Importance of Organizational
  • 3 year study of 250 children served by 32 public
    childrens service offices in Tennessee.
  • (Glisson Hemmelgarn 1998)
  • Organizational climate (low conflict,
    cooperation, role clarity and personal
    relationships) was the primary predictor of
    positive service outcomes (childrens improved
    psychosocial functioning) and a significant
    predictor of service quality.

Organizational Climate, Turnover and New Program
  • Nationwide study of 100 mental health clinics in
    26 states. - Glisson, et. al 2008
  • Organizations with strong organizational climates
    and cultures had half the employee turnover and
    sustained new programs for twice as long as
    organizations with weaker organizational climates
    and cultures.

Mary Byrne Study (2006)
  • Compared CPS workers in Massachusetts using a
    strengths-based service planning approach with
    those using a traditional protective services
    approach (n467)
  • Found that workers using a strength-based
    approach had
  • Higher sense of self-efficacy in their work
  • Lower sense of compassion fatigue
  • Lower rates of burnout
  • Higher rates of compassion satisfaction
  • Higher rates of job satisfaction
  • Suggests that Collaborative Approaches positively
    sustains CPS workers and offers the best
    continual learning and renewing environment for

Relational Stance as the Foundation for our work
  • Clinical Practices
  • (What we do with people)
  • Conceptual Models
  • (How we think about people)
  • Relational Stance
  • (The attitude with which
  • we approach our people)

Evaluating the Effects of our Clinical Practices
on Relational Stance
  • Client Cultural Competence Inventory (Gail
    Switzer, 1998)
  • Family-Centered Behavior Scale (Chris Petr,
    Univ of Kansas)
  • ORS and SRS Rating Scale (Miller,
    Duncan Sparks, 2003)
  • Wraparound Fidelity Index

ORS Outcome Rating Scale
  • People served evaluate how they are doing
  • Individually (personal well-being)
  • Interpersonally (family, close relationships)
  • Socially (work, school friendships)
  • Overall (general sense of well-being)

SRS Session Rating Scale
  • People served evaluate how therapy is going in
    terms of factors empirically shown to be related
    to effective therapy
  • Degree to which they felt heard, understood and
  • Degree to which therapy focused on what they deem
  • Degree to which they felt therapists approach is
    a good fit for them
  • Degree to which the session felt right for them.

Wraparound Fidelity Index
  • Four brief interviews (with caregivers, youth,
    wraparound facilitators, and team members) that
    measure the nature of wraparound process that a
    family receives.
  • Keyed to 10 core principles of wraparound across
    4 phases (engagement and team preparation,
    initial planning, implementation and transition).
  • The process can also include team observation
    measures, document review measures, and an
    inventory of community supports for wraparound

Questions to guide efforts to insure that our
work is effective and cost efficient
  • How do we make sure that the voices of people
    served are included in outcome measurement
    efforts to ensure continued accountability to
  • How do we develop nuanced measures that recognize
    that a particular helping practice cannot be
    separated from the worker practicing it and that
    helping relationships are jointly developed?
  • How do we develop measures that recognize the
    uniqueness of human beings and encourage
    tailoring our efforts to particular individuals
    and families rather than specific conditions?

Questions to guide efforts to insure that our
work is effective and cost efficient
  • How do we take into account the importance of
    client factors and relationship factors as the
    two biggest contributors to psychotherapy outcome
    as we attempt to develop outcome measures and not
    focus only on isolated techniques (even though
    they may be easier to measure)?
  • Finally, how do we think carefully about our
    intentions, purposes and values in this work to
    ensure that we are measuring what is valuable
    rather than simply valuing what is measurable?

(No Transcript)
Metaphors that Guide our Work
  • Romantic Metaphor Peeling the onion
  • Systems Metaphor Fixing the broken machine
  • Story Metaphor Examining with people the
    stories that shape their lives
  • From Monk, Winslade, Crockett Epston (1997).
  • Narrative Therapy in Practice The
    Archeaology of Hope.

Romantic MetaphorPeeling the onion
  • People have an essential self, inner core, true
  • People seeking help are struggling with deep and
    painful conflicts or hurts that are covered up by
    defensive layers that serve a protective
  • Our work is a process of working through
    defensive layers to get at inner core and express
    true feelings.

Systems MetaphorFixing the broken machine
  • Families are systems that have self-regulating
    rules and structures.
  • Families seeking help are analogous to a broken
  • Our work is a process of identifying the problem,
    developing a treatment plan based on normative
    models of family functioning, and intervening to
    help family function better.

Post-Structuralist MetaphorFamilies as storying
  • We can think about people and families as
    cultures that organize their lives through
  • People come for help when organizing stories
    become stuck and obscure abilities, skills and
    wisdom that can help them in life.
  • Our work can be a process of examining the
    stories that organize life, reflecting on the
    degree of fit and helping people live into
    stories that best serve them.

Clinical Implications of Post-Structuralist
  • Shift in therapeutic positioning from a
    hierarchical role of an outside expert attempting
    to repair family dysfunction to a lateral role of
    an appreciative ally working with families to
    help them develop desired lives with the support
    of their local communities.

Examining the Usefulness of a Story Metaphor
Stories, Experience, and Family-Helper
  • Our stories about our lives shape our experience
    of our lives.
  • Individual stories are embedded in and shaped by
    broader cultural narratives.
  • Helpers interactions with people served invite
    the enactment of particular life stories.

A Story-Line consists of events in a sequence
across time organized according to a plot or
Introduction of Collaborative Inquiry
Collaborative Inquiry
  • A process of joint exploration in which helpers
    pose questions designed to elicit peoples
    abilities, skills and knowledges in order to make
    them more available for constructive use.
  • Not discovering pre-existing knowledge, but
    jointly developing it in therapeutic

Collaborative Inquiry
  • Good questions generate experience.
  • We ask questions that invite both the telling of
    a story and the experience of living that story.
  • Not old, bad to new, good stories, but rather
    thin or under-developed stories to thicker,
    more richly described stories.

Collaborative Inquiry
  • Our skill as helpers lies primarily in our
    ability to ask questions that elicit, elaborate
    and acknowledge peoples abilities, skills, and
    know-how that have been previously obscured.
  • This process does not require helpers to ignore
    their values or abdicate their knowledge, but
    views professional knowledge as supplementary to
    the local knowledge of people served.

A Practice Framework for Collaborative Helping
  • Building a foundation of family engagement.
  • Helping family members envision preferred
    directions in life.
  • Helping family members identify obstacles to as
    well as supports for preferred directions in
  • Helping family members address obstacles and draw
    on supports.
  • Helping family members develop a community to
    support the enactment of preferred lives.

A Framework for Collaborative Child Welfare
  • Building a foundation of family engagement.
  • Developing a shared goal to insure safety,
    well-being, and permanency.
  • Identifying signs of danger/risk and signs of
    safety to support the goal of safety, well-being,
    and permanency.
  • Helping family members address signs of risk and
    draw on signs of safety, while maintaining a
    bottom line.
  • Helping family members develop and draw on
    communities of support to maintain safety,
    well-being, and permanency.

VisionWhere would you like to be headed in your
  • Obstacles
  • What gets in the way?
  • Supports
  • What helps you?

Plan What needs to happen next?
Building a Foundation of Family Engagement
  • Getting to know family members in ways that
    humanize them, build connection with them and
    encourage hope for shared work, while keeping
    important issues on the table.

Helping People Envision Preferred Directions in
  • Envisioning a non-problematic future.
  • Focusing on preferred coping in a difficult

Questions to Help People Envision Preferred
  • Beginning at the end
  • Progress since first contact
  • Miracle question
  • Moving from absence to presence
  • Appreciative inquiry questions
  • Complaint to commitment questions

  • Supports
  • Individual Level
  • Interactional level
  • Socio-cultural level
  • Obstacles
  • Individual level
  • Interactional level
  • Socio-cultural level

Preferred Directions in Life
  • Obstacles
  • Problems
  • Experiences and feelings
  • Old Habits and practices
  • Constraining interpersonal interactions (vicious
  • Beliefs, lifestyles, life stories
  • Dilemmas and difficult situations
  • Broader constraining cultural expectations
  • Supports
  • Abilities, Skills and Knowledge
  • Counter habits and practices
  • Sustaining interpersonal interactions (virtuous
  • Intentions, values, hopes, and commitments
  • Supportive community members
  • Broader sustaining cultural expectations

Viewing People as Being in a Relationship with
  • People are in an on-going and changeable
    relationship with the obstacles in their lives.
  • The Person is not problematic. The Obstacle
    (problem) or the Persons relationship with the
    Obstacle is problematic.

Obstacles and Supports as Externalized Elements
Preferred Directions in Life
People are in a Relationship with Problems
PROBLEM (and its Network of Support) Interactions
around the problem Beliefs about the
problem Taken-for-granted cultural assumptions
Dominant Story (Influence of the Problem on the
Alternative Story (Influence of the Person on
the Problem.)
PERSON/FAMILY (and their Community of
Support) Appreciative others who stand in support
of people. Important values and intentions that
support people in developing the lives they
Some Advantages of Externalizing
  • Creates a space between people and problems that
    enables people to draw on previously obscured
    abilities, skills and know-how to revise their
    relationship with the problem.

Some Advantages of Externalizing
  • Allows a way to disentangle blame and
  • Problems are to blame for their effects.
  • People are responsible for their responses to the
    invitations of problems.

Some Advantages of Externalizing
  • Can help workers develop a more compassionate and
    connect view of people who engage in off-putting

Some Advantages of Externalizing
  • Offers a way to transcend dichotomy between
    problem and solution focus.
  • Acknowledges problems and focuses attention on
    peoples resourcefulness in dealing with problems.

A Simple Outline for Externalizing Conversations
PROBLEM (and its Network of Support)
Experience of the Problem Questions
Effects of the Problem Questions
Responses to the Problem Questions
Preferences about the Problem Questions PERSON/F
AMILY (and Community of Support)
Purpose of Experience Questions
  • To separate the problem from the person through
    externalizing language and develop a rich
    understanding of a persons experience of their
    relationship with that problem.

Purpose of Effects Questions
  • To develop a thorough understanding of the
    effects the problem has had on the person in
    varied aspects of their life as well as on
    important relationships in their life. While we
    may learn about complicated, multi-textured
    effects and possibly beneficial effects, the
    primary focus is on negative effects of the

Purpose of Preferences Questions
  • To invite a person to consider whether particular
    effects of a problem suit or do not suit the
    persons preferred direction in life. To offer
    them an opportunity to take a position in
    relation to the problem, make their values and
    intentions known, and mobilize and align
    emotional energy behind that position.

Purpose of Preferred Responses Questions
  • To elicit and elaborate a story of the persons
    attempts to develop a different relationship with
    the problem (which may be to resist it, oppose
    it, overcome it, cope with it, contain or outgrow
    it, utilize it constructively, etc.). To invite
    the person to ascribe meaning to this story and
    examine future possibilities as the story

A More Complex Map for Externalizing Conversations
  • Story of Problems
  • influence on Person
  • Tracing the history of the problem
  • Mapping the effects of the problem
  • Exposing the tactics of the problem
  • Identifying supports for the problem
  • Story of Persons
  • influence on Problem
  • Identifying exceptions to the Problems influence
  • Developing counter-story of persons influence
  • Elaborating the meaning of counter-story story
  • Building supports for the person

Realm of Meaning (Intentions, Values Beliefs,
Hopes Dreams, Commitments) Past Present Futu
re ______________X_____________X___________X_____
______________X_____________X___________X_____ Pa
st Present Future Realm of Action (What, Where,
When, Who, How)

Re-Thinking Strengths
  • We can elicit strengths in relation to an
    agreed upon goal (e.g. elements that support a
    parents best judgment with his/her children).
  • We move from an internal view of strengths (as
    characteristics) to an intentional view of
    strengths (as skills of living, intentions,
    purposes, values, beliefs, hopes and dreams).

Questions about Strengths
  • The ways in which a particular Strength is put
    into practice.
  • The abilities, skills and knowledges that
    comprise this Strength.
  • The history of the development of this Strength.
  • The important others in a persons life who have
    contributed to this Strength.
  • The meaning this Strength holds for the person.
  • The intentions, values and beliefs, hopes and
    dreams that stand behind this Strength.

Helping People Develop a Community of Support for
New Lives
  • It takes a village to raise a new story
  • If identity is created in social action, it is
    important to find an appreciative audience for
  • Recruiting communities of support can counteract
    the isolating effects of problems and help people
    stay in touch with preferred versions of who they
    are in life.

Developing Communities of Support
  • Using re-membering conversations to evoke the
    presence of potential allies.
  • Using reflecting teams or witnessing groups to
    engage actual audiences
  • Using written documents to support witnessing
  • Helping people identify, utilize and sustain
    actual allies in their daily lives.

Re-membering Conversations
  • Re-membering conversations help people connect to
    and internally hold the voices of an appreciative
  • This audience could include important persons in
    the present or past, people who have passed away,
    pets, stuffed animals, admired celebrities,
    historical or literary figures, or spiritual

Steps in Re-membering Conversations (1)
  • Identify people or beings (alive or dead, real or
    imagined) in the persons past or present who
    would could serve as allies recognizing,
    appreciating and standing in support of the
    persons preferred response to problems or
    pursuit of preferred directions in life.
  • Get details of that relationship and its
    importance to both the person and ally.

Steps in Re-membering Conversations (2)
  • Elicit specific times in which the ally witnessed
    examples of life outside the problematic story or
    within the alternative story.
  • Elicit a detailed story of those events (e.g.
    who, what, where, when, and how) and their
    meaning through the allys perspective.

Steps in Re-membering Conversations (3)
  • Weave together contributions the ally has made to
    the persons life and possible contributions the
    person has made to the allys life.
  • Explore the effects of these reciprocal
    contributions and their respective implications
    for the persons identity.

Steps in Re-membering Conversations (4)
  • Link the conversation to the present situation
    and to future possibilities.
  • Inquire whether the person would be interested in
    bringing the allys presence more into their
    current life as a community of support for
    preferred directions in life.

Questions to Guide Reflections
  • What were you particularly moved by in this
    conversation? (evoked images)
  • How does that resonate with events in your own
    life? (embodied speaking)
  • What from this conversation would you like to
    carry back into your work of life? (acknowledging

Summary of Collaborative Helping Map
VisionWhere would you like to be headed in your
life?Forward thinking, mutually shared, concrete
visionBuilt on a foundation of motivation,
resourcefulness and community
  • Obstacles
  • What gets in the way?
  • Described in a way that
  • externalizes problems
  • Identifying obstacles at individual,
    interactional, and socio-cultural levels
  • Supports
  • What helps you?
  • Described in a way that internalizes agency
  • Identifying supports at individual,
    interactional, and socio-cultural levels

Plan What needs to happen next? Forward thinking,
mutually shared, concrete plan that addresses and
draws on supports to achieve vision Engaging
natural community to support plan
Day 2 Putting Collaborative Helping into
Practice in Challenging Situations
Engaging Reluctant Families
Understanding Family Positions
  • Services as a cross-cultural negotiation
  • Beliefs about the Problem
  • Beliefs about what should be done about the
    Problem - Treatment
  • Beliefs about who should do what in relation to
    the Problem - Roles

Three Stances People hold Towards Problems in
their Life
This is a problem and I can do something about
it - No Control Stance - This is a problem
but I cant do anything about it - No Problem
Stance - This is not a problem and I dont need
to do something about it

This is a Problem and I want to do something
about itThis person is ready to do some work
-We all prefer this!It is easierWe often
secretly hope this is where people will be at and
are disappointed when they are not
No Control Stance
  • Situations where people express their
    helplessness about situation and can be seen as
    complaining, passive or co-dependent.
  • Workers can fall into attempting to convince
    people served that they can or need to do
    something about the problem or trying to get
    people served to see how they are contributing to
    the problem.
  • People served can experience these efforts as
    minimizing the magnitude of their difficulties
    and respond with arguments for why change is not

Dangers of a No Control Stance
Dangers of a No Control Stance
Criticize / Defend
Map for No Control Stance
NO CONTROL STANCE Experience Questions
Effects Questions
Response Questions
Preference Questions PERSON/FAMILY (and
Community of Support)
No Problem Stance
  • Situations often referred to as denial.
  • Workers can fall into attempting to convince
    people served that the problem exists or try to
    force them to agree with how we see things.
  • Workers and people served end up building their
    relationship around vastly different ideas about
    the problem and different agendas for dealing
    with it.

Dangers of a No Problem Stance
Arguing for Change / Defending Status Quo
Map for No Problem Stance
NO PROBLEM STANCE Experience Questions
Effects Questions
Response Questions
Preference Questions PERSON/FAMILY (and
Community of Support)
Two Important Shifts in Challenging Constraining
  • Shift from a focus on what caused the problem to
    what constrains alternatives.
  • Shift from worker challenging constraint to
    worker offering irresistible invitations for
    person served to challenge constraint.

Steps Toward Engaging People with a No Problem
First do no harm Avoid prematurely arguing for
change. Connection before correction Connect
with persons intentions, hopes, values, and
preferred view of self. Mind the Gap Elicit
and examine discrepancies between persons
intentions, hopes, values, and preferred view of
self and the current effects of their
actions. Grow the exception into a plan Build
on this exception to a No Problem stance to
develop an agreed upon focus for shared work.
Steps Toward Engaging People with a No Control
First do no Harm Avoid prematurely arguing for
change. Connection before correction Search
for the hopes behind the persons complaints.
(What a person despairs against may point to what
he/she hopes for.) Taking the first step
Elicit and examine instances of self-efficacy or
agency in persons descriptions of their
responses to a problematic situation. Growing
the exception into a plan Build on this
exception to a No Control stance to develop an
agreed upon focus for shared work.
Difficult conversations about concerns and worries
Signs of Safety
  • A Solution-focused approach to child protective
  • Signs of Safety by Andrew Turnell Steve Edwards
  • Working with Denied Child Abuse by Andrew Turnell
    Susie Essex 2006

Three Questions
Three Questions
  • Actual experiences of past harm to a child by a
  • Actual experiences of current or ongoing harm
  • The resulting likelihood of repeated future harm
  • Statistically, the best predictor of future harm
    is past/current harm
  • The key is to consider the impact the danger has
    to children There are difficult things that
    happen to and within families that dont impact

Complicating Factors
  • Warning signs, red flags, issues that make the
    provision of protection more difficult but in and
    of themselves are not direct dangers
  • Mental illness, teenage parenting, poverty, low
    IQ, what else?

  • Safety is regarded as actions of protection
    (specifically related to dangers concerns)
    demonstrated over time
  • All families have some signs of safety
  • The best predictor of future protection is past
  • Without searching for examples of protection it
    will be difficult to know the extent of the signs
    of danger or to determine how protection could be
    enhanced and measured in the present and future

Supporting Strengths
  • Skills of living, coping skills, cultural or
    familial histories of recovery or support that
    are important but do not directly support the
    provision of protection
  • Being organized, exercising, being good at
    sports/school, what else?

What are the Worries?
What Works Well?
Safety Acts of protection by a caregiver
demonstrated over time
Danger Acts of harm by a caregiver (past or
What is the caregivers impact on the child?
Complicating Factors Things that are worrisome
but in and of themselves have little or no impact
on the child
Supporting Strengths Things that are going well
in the family which do not rise to the level of
an act of protection
What Needs to Happen?
Danger Statements
  • Simple behavioral statements of the caregiver
    actions, the harm that it has caused, and the
    resulting worries CPS has about the future.
  • Try to create a statement that in very clear
    behavioral terms
  • David hit his son Peter three times last Sunday
    night after drinking more than 2 six packs
    leaving bruises on both his face and back. DCF is
    worried that David could drink to that point
    again, hit Peter again and as a result Peter
    could become seriously injured.
  • Try to avoid
  • Father abused the son while drunk
  • David is an alcoholic who abuses his son
  • David is an alcoholic who hit his son

Safety Planning
  • Detailed plans made in response to specifically
    identified and understood dangers
  • Describes specific actions that family members
    can/must take to address the dangers
  • Are developed and refined over time (they are a
    process not an event)
  • Should involve everyone in the family and be
    communicated to as wide a range of formal and
    informal community members as possible

Making a direct connection
Each example of past/ current danger
Clear description of future worry/danger
Inquiry about past protection
Element on safety plan
Making a direct connection
Long history of DV in couple
CW worried that child could be physically hurt
during parents fights
Sometimes during a fight, parents walk away from
each other
Walk-away agreement, journal, grandparent
agrees to take child overnight if walk-away is
not possible
Three Questions with Children
Three Houses Child Protection Risk Assessment
Process to use with Children and Young
People Created by Nicki Weld, Wellington NZ
Childrens Version of the Signs of Safety Map
House of Dreams
House of Worries
House of Good Things
On 3 separate pieces of paper draw with the
children their experience and vision of each
house. Use these drawings with the adults in
deepening the assessment and planning process.
More Info
html - New Zealand Child Youth and Family
Introducing Three Houses with Children
  • Explain the idea of three houses and give
    children the option of starting with house of
    good things or house of worries.
  • In the first house, we will include the things
    that you like in your life. Thats the house of
    good things.
  • In the second house we will write or draw your
    worries. Thats the house of worries.
  • In the third house we will write or draw how
    things would be if they got better. Thats the
    house of dreams.

Using The Three Houses
  • Obtain permission from parents if possible.
  • One house per sheet of paper.
  • Obtain permission from child to show to others --
    parents, relatives, people that have been
    identified as interested in protecting child.
  • Do not have to get into argument about is it
    truth are not -- can say For our job we have to
    treat this as if it was true

Applying Collaborative Helping Map to your own
Supervisory Interview
  • As this interview progresses, please trace out
  • Vision (agreed upon focus of the work)
  • Obstacles (elements that constrain helping
  • Supports (elements that support helping progress)

  • Supports
  • Obstacles

Collaborative Helping Map in SupervisionVisionI
n 25 words or less, where would family say your
work together is headed?In 25 words or less,
what would you say your work with this family is
headed?On a scale of 1-10, how would family
members and you say the work is going?Are there
other concerns or risk factors we should keep in
  • Obstacles
  • What would different parties say gets in the way
    of the work going better?
  • Identify obstacles at family, family-helper, and
    helper levels.
  • Supports
  • What would different parties say has contributed
    to the work going as well as it has?
  • Identify supports at family, family-helper, and
    helper levels.
  • Plan
  • Use externalizing conversations to help worker
    and family address obstacles and draw on
    supportsWhat would it take to move responses to
    scaling question up one number?
  • What can happen in this conversation to help you
    accomplish that?

The ABCs of Collaborative Helping
  • As you think back over the various ideas and
    thoughts that have emerged over our time
  • What is one thing that you are already doing in
    your work?
  • What is one thing that you would like to begin
    doing in your work?
  • What is one thing that you might like to change
    doing in your work?