Family life can be stressful and complicated. The Family Support and Intervention Service recognises every child’s family is unique. Systemic family work can help families to work on their relationships and improve understanding of each other’s perspectives. It brings relatives together to talk about their problems and experiences as a family.

What Is Systemic Family Work?

The Family Support and Intervention Service will work with family members and the child to help everyone feel safe and able to work through difficult thoughts and feelings. We help families hear each other’s experiences and views, and appreciate each other’s needs and strengths. This ultimately allows changes to be made to relationships and lives.

We help families to work towards their own goals at their own pace. Usually the sessions will be around one hour and we can see a family in their own home or at Kibble. Sometimes problems can be complicated; families might not know what to do for the best or they could feel stuck in repeating patterns and need a little extra help to find solutions. We will work with each family for an agreed period of time and will often help children return home. All family circumstances are different and we will be flexible with how long help is required.

Sometimes we will talk about the problems, successes or family progress. At other times the family could be involved in activities or tasks such as playing a game, discussions or problem solving, which could help them feel less stuck.

How Can Systemic Family Work Help?

It can help with all kinds of problems such as:

  • Children and parents/carers who want to build closer and happier relationships
  • Families who have special challenges such as bereavement, mental health, trauma, physical illness, alcoholism, family conflicts
  • Families who are fostering or kinship carers
  • Families who are concerned about challenging behaviours and the safety of their child
  • Parents/carers who are separated or divorced
  • Families that have experienced loss, trauma or domestic violence
  • Any problems that the family needs someone to help them talk about, for example difficult experiences or feelings

Who Can Come Along To A Systemic Family Work Session?

  • We see a ‘family’ as a group of relations who care about each other and call themselves family. We try to include everyone who is important to the family; this may include grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts, cousins and carers. We can work with caregivers separately as well as having everyone in the same room.

The Role Of Systemic Practitioners

A Systemic Practitioner will lead the session. We encourage families to share their experiences, hopes and fears, and to listen to everyone else. Alongside this, we also:

  • Try to help families stop blaming each other
  • Begin to explore how families can understand each other and try to find solutions to their problems
  • Help families talk about the challenges they are experiencing
  • Explore each person’s strengths
  • Might draw a kind of family tree called a genogram to help a family think about their relationships
  • We offer individual work to parents/carers including:
  • Psycho-educational programmes such as advice about Autism Spectrum Disorder, attachment issues, trauma and self-harming
  • Individual work with a child around their life story
  • Skills-based interventions for managing challenging behaviour

Parents and carers can also access a range of group work experiences:

  • Handling Teenage Behaviour Group
  • Parents’/Carers’ Support Group
  • Parents’ Committee