Working With Parents: The Importance Of Working With Parents

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The concept of parental responsibility:
Nevertheless, all those who are engaged in the upbringing of children have duties and responsibilities for their welfare. The children Act seeks to recognise these in its concept of parental responsibility.
(The Act uses the parental responsibility to sum up the collection of duties, rights and authority which a parent has in respect of this child. That choice of words emphasises that the duty to care for the child and raise him/her to moral, physical and emotional health is the fundamental task of parenthood and the only justification for the authority in confers).
Any rights the parents, or others acting in a parental role, might have under the children Act flow from their duties towards their children,
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Which allowed for the assumption of parental rights by the local authority. The children Act recognises that the birth family holds a symbolic and important place in the lives of individual children, a factor reconfirmed by several recent research studies that elicited the views of children looked after by the local authority. It therefore follows that working with parents is held in the children Act to be important in order to preserve children’s links with their families and promote children’s welfare.
Partnership with parents:
The context of children Act thinking warrants some explanation. The importance of working with parents evolved in the mid-1980’s, supported by research suggesting that many parents, whose children were in public care prior to the children Act, had felt that their legitimate interests had been denied and their links with their children had been wittingly or unwittingly severed. Child placement research had also drawn attention to the fact that the better when parents participated in the decision-making.
The research recommended a more participatory approach to
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Professional practice which reduces a family’s sense of powerlessness, and helps them feel and function more competently, is likely to improve the wellbeing of both parents and children).
With hindsight, the term ‘partnership’ was perhaps unfortunate, subject to much variation in interpretation and unable to convey the tension that surrounds social work intervention in cases of child maltreatment. It is worthy of note that nowhere in the children Act does the term ‘partnership’ appear. ‘Participation’ might have had a more precise and measurable meaning. However, the intention was clear: to include parents in decision-making concerning their children who were in receipt of child welfare services.
Working in ‘partnership’ with parents:
Much has been written about the nature of partnership with parents within the child welfare system. A key factor is that partnership is a process rather than an event, the desired outcome being the strengthening of parental responsibility. Some of the key features of successful ‘partnership’ with parents are:
• A shared commitment to negotiation and actions concerning how best to safeguard and promote children’s welfare
• A mutual respect for the other’s point of
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