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With a keen interest in early childhood, The Tindall Foundation is supporting Plunket to positively influence how Plunket staff and other family services engage with families, using the Family Partnership Model (FPM).
The FPM was successfully developed in the UK, based on evidence that the effectiveness of help provided to families is strongly linked to the relationship between helpers and parents. Research found that parents want services provided by people who listen nonjudgmentally and acknowledge their strengths.
One experienced practitioner using FPM skills in her practice reflected: “I found it easier to get an idea of parenting skills when I didn’t leap in with a solution. I think clients felt more at ease with me when I empathised without giving a solution.”
Plunket’s aim is to embed the FPM approach in its work culture. Adapting the model to New Zealand, Plunket also works with Maori and Pacific facilitators to enhance the help offered to Maori and Pacific families.
In mid-2010, 649 family services staff had received FPM training. Of these participants, 47% were Plunket staff and the others were from organisations including WINZ, CYFS, Barnardos, Playcentre and Supergrans.
The Tindall Foundation has made a 3-year commitment to fund FPM resources, including the National Family Partnership Leader’s salary.
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