Relationship-based early intervention services for children with complex needs: Lessons from New Zealand

Blackburn, Carolyn (2016) Relationship-based early intervention services for children with complex needs: Lessons from New Zealand. Journal of Children's Services, 11 (4). pp. 330-344. ISSN 1746-6660

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Abstract

Purpose:
This qualitative study aimed to explore parent and professional view and perceptions about the key characteristics of a relationship-based EI service for children with complex needs.

Methodology:
A case study is reported of a relationship-based early intervention service for children with complex needs in New Zealand. This qualitative study involved 39 participants (10 children, 11 parents and 18 professionals).

Findings:
Parents appreciated the knowledgeable, well-trained professionals who invested time in getting to know (and love) children and families and family practices, worked together in harmony and valued the contribution that parents made to their child’s progress and achievement. Professionals described the key characteristics of the service in terms of the range of therapies offered by the service, the focus on a strengths-based and family focused approach, play-based assessments, acceptance and value of family practices (including
responsiveness to Maori and bi-culturalism), appropriate and respectful places to meet and greet families and work with children, and recruitment and retention of humble professionals who identified with the ethos of the model. Observable social processes and structures within
the delivery of the model include respectful professional interactions and relationships with children and families, integrated professional working, effective and timely communication between professionals and families, pedagogy of listening, waiting and personalisation, engaged families and actively participating children.

Policy and practice reccomendations include:
- A systematic review of literature on EI programmes and services that hold as their core aim to build relationships between parents and children as a foundation to emotional resilience, well-being and long-term mental health.
- A centre-based model of EI that recognises parents as children’s first and most enduring teacher rather than decontextualised programmes than risk devaluing children’s and parents competencies is recommended for EI services in the UK.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: X900 Others in Education
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Study of Practice and Culture in Education (C-SPACE) > Re-thinking Childhood
UoA Collections > UoA25: Education
Depositing User: Miss Jessica Baylis
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2017 08:44
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2017 15:03
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3149

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