The principles of Think Family, Work Family

Working with the whole family requires a co-ordinated approach to assessment and intervention, thus protecting both children and adults at risk from harm.  Consideration of immediate risk should be prioritised as follows:

  • The welfare and safety of the child, including assessment and ensuring their views are sought (Paramount in law - Children Act 1989).

  • The welfare and safety of adults at risk who may be at risk from violence or abuse and who may or may not have capacity to make informed decisions. (No Secrets, HM Govt 2000; Mental Capacity Act, 2005).

  • Public protection – consider whether the situation presents a risk to the wider public e.g. risk of sexual offences, risk of terrorism, risk of violence (MAPPA, 2010; Prevent Strategy; HM Government, 2011).


Why are we taking this approach?

Think Family works.  Research suggests that a multi-agency, ‘Think Family’ approach can be effective in helping families, even for those who have not benefited from traditional service approaches.  A new approach is needed for working with children and families in Leeds for four main reasons:

  • Think Family works

  • High levels of need

  • Shared legal duties

  • The high cost of failure to the individuals and society 

A different approach is needed because we know that to improve the lives of those children facing the biggest challenges, we need to identify, understand and resolve the problems of the adult parents. A small minority of families struggle with a long, intergenerational history of linked and complex problems such as mental illness, abuse, learning disabilities, domestic violence or substance misuse and the evidence shows that traditional approaches cannot make the difference – a joined up approach that helps both the children and adults is needed. 


Further information on Think Family Work Family

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