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Coaching is a result-oriented process in which a coach supports the learner to achieve goals using intentional strategies, tools, and techniques that can help encourage positive behavioural change. Coaching is a practice approach that can be applied to work collaboratively towards a range of goals, including relationship-building. Carers, in particular, may need support to achieve goals relating to:
- Creating a positive family time experience and supporting children to process family time experiences
- Building long lasting connections with parents and a child’s extended family and support network
- Maintaining frequent, open and transparent communication with parents and extended family
- Prioritising children’s ongoing connection to their culture and background
- Being persistent and working through relationship challenges they experience with parents and extended family
Practice strategies that can support carers to achieve these goals include helping carers to:
- Understand a parent or family member’s story
- Recognise what might be impacting a parent or family member’s ability to attend family time
- Process frustration and come up with alternatives if visits are cancelled last minute
- Bring the focus back to the child’s experiences
- Delve into assumptions and whether these are based on past and may have changed
- Bring attention to positive interactions during family time
A carer coaching practice guide has been designed for caseworkers working with carers to:
- guide their conversations with carers about Family Time and
- to encourage carers to reflect on their role to support birth family connections with children
- work with carers to share positive feedback with birth relatives.
Carers and Custodians of Children’s Connections explores the custodianship role carer’s play in nurturing children’s connections to family and culture and includes information about why family time is important and how it can be challenging.
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