Building family connectedness - A new practice tool for social workers

Journal article


Woodman, Elise and Ross, Jessica. (2022). Building family connectedness - A new practice tool for social workers. The British Journal of Social Work. 52(6), pp. 3130-3150. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab226
AuthorsWoodman, Elise and Ross, Jessica
Abstract

Family connectedness is important for youth mental health and well-being. Social workers can help families build and maintain connections during adolescence. Evidence-based practice tools which approach youth well-being through a whole-of-family lens help legitimise social work’s person-in-environment approach to mental health. In this study, fifteen Australian social workers piloted a new practice tool to support family connectedness. The tool outlines key elements of family connectedness from the perspectives of young people and provides detailed examples to help understand and strengthen family connections. The social workers trialled the Family Connectedness Practice Tool for two months. Before the trial, participants were surveyed on which skills, theories and practice approaches they used to support family connectedness. After the trial, participants were surveyed on how they used the tool and how useful it was in their practice. The findings highlight the range of knowledge informing practice with children, youth and families. The tool was considered very useful by participants and helped with family connectedness education, assessment and intervention. The findings raise questions about how much young people’s perspectives are valued in practice and the challenges social workers face when using a whole-of-family approach.

Keywordsevidence-based practice; family connectedness; social work practice; youth mental health
Year2022
JournalThe British Journal of Social Work
Journal citation52 (6), pp. 3130-3150
PublisherOxford University Press
ISSN0045-3102
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcab226
Page range3130-3150
FunderAustralian Catholic University (ACU)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online26 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted26 Oct 2021
Deposited25 Nov 2022
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https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8y77v/building-family-connectedness-a-new-practice-tool-for-social-workers

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