Again, this is in line with findings from previous research,33 however not all workers agreed and felt given the right approach even entrenched problems could be addressed. Where I think we are successful, or more successful, is where there is a genuine desire with the family for things to change. They want things to work with the family, they don’t want the young person accommodated but they are just worn out with the google advertising situation. Where we make little impact is where there are real child protection issues, or where the problems have been around so long that you know, it is a major mind shift to move things on.
My personal view, and I suppose I’m the one that collects the kind of information with the overview, is that we have had some substantial successes with long-term families. I think that sometimes professionals identify problems which are to do with the quality of the relationships, and attachments, and all those kind of things, and actually want people to work on those. without resolving the day to day issues.
The second reason is that it is strength focused. So we are drawing on their own strengths to deal with their own problems and finding their own answers. The research shows that it then transfers into other parts of their life as well because of their views of themselves as a strong and capable person. In terms of getting feedback from families about their experience of the service most of the projects struggled. If you put in a stamped addressed envelope, the same, if you sit down and do it with them. you can say ‘it is not their views, you are influencing them.
If you go and visit them as a backup, it is time consuming. It is not an easy area, but we do ask them. Projects did struggle with evaluating their success simply because, as highlighted above, the nature of the work was preventative. Interviewees were asked what services they thought needed to be in place to make it easier for families who might be struggling.