What is Caregiver & Family Engagement?
Family engagement is an active partnership between families and service providers. It can be an individual relationship between a clinician and a family, an organizational alliance between an agency and families in their community, or a systemic recognition of family-centered care. Regardless of the definition, when families are engaged, programs and services are stronger and young people are healthier.
There are three main categories of involvement for families:
- Families as recipients of services: Programs are typically led by professionals and improve the ability to deal with behaviours through improved problem-solving and reduced stress.
- Family-led supports/programs/Families as co-therapists: Families helping families such as family-driven support groups and mutual support programs are associated with reduced subjective burden and distress
- Engagement through the process of involvement: Factors that impact on family involvement in care (e.g., therapeutic alliance, empowerment, expectations of families and choice)
Family-centered care is based on the following principles:
- Recognition that families are experts in the needs of their loved ones
- Practices that promote equal partnerships among family members, service providers and the client
- Supports the family’s role in decision making and contributions to ongoing care and planning for the client
Caregiver & Family Engagement at Compass
Compass is in the process of developing a Caregiver & Family Engagement Strategy with the guidance of The Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health and Parents for Children’s Mental Health.
It is our hope that with the help of parents, staff, and management that we can develop our family-centered approach and as always strive toward the very best services possible for the children and youth of our community.