Training in Collaborative Helping

The Family-Centered Services Project provides clinical training and organizational consultation to help community and government organizations create more respectful and responsive ways of interacting with families.

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Learn more about Collaborative Helping

FCSP Approach to Training and Consultation

At its core, family-centered services represents a spirit, attitude or relational stance from which workers approach their work. We seek to foster that spirit in our training and consultation activities by applying the same values and commitments that guide our work with families to our work with programs and agencies.

Uncovering Participants’ Best Work

Family Centered Services Project training and consultation is strongly influenced by a process called “Appreciative Inquiry.” We connect with participants to discover their best moments in challenging situations and use those moments as a foundation to develop an inspiring vision of the possibilities in their work. We examine with participants the values and hopes that make this vision personally relevant and help them distill that vision into concrete organizing principles that can flexibly guide their work. This process allows us to help participants integrate their own “best practices” with “state of the art” theories and practices and demonstrate how this learning process can be integrated into their daily work.


Learning Conversations

In our training and consultation, we seek a collaborative environment where we develop shared knowledge through learning conversations. We view participants as active members who already hold a great deal of knowledge, skill and experience and consultants as facilitators with both practical content knowledge and particular expertise in helping learners explore their own best practices and articulate their underlying organizing principles. Throughout, we balance organized structure with the flexibility and responsiveness of emergent design.

Active, Experiential Training and Consultation

FCSP’s approach to training and consultation is to “work from the inside out.” We take participants through a three-part process designed to engage them as active participants in their own learning. We begin by eliciting participants’ hopes and purposes in order to craft the agreed upon focus which we believe can and should originate with participants. Then we engage participants in experiential exercises that create opportunities for them to develop an intimate feel for new ideas and practices. These exercises are followed by group reflection and discussion on what has been learned from the exercises and how that learning can be concretely applied to participants’ own work settings.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats

Training in Mental Health, Child Welfare, Health Care and Educational Settings

We offer trainings at frontline, supervisory and management levels to support effective, collaborative family-centered services. These trainings can fit into 2 hour, half day, full day and multi-day lengths. They can also be combined into multi-day trainings and customized to fit to your particular context. We will also work with you to develop other relevant trainings.

Contact FCSP to set up a training

Some of the trainings we offer include:

Collaborative Helping: A Practice Framework for Family-Centered Services
Overview of an integrative practice framework that helps workers put family-centered values and principles into daily frontline practice across many different helping contexts.

Collaborative Helping Maps: A Tool to Guide Thinking and Action
Overview of practical maps that help workers think their way through complex situations and provide a framework for constructive conversations with families about challenging issues.

Collaborative Helping in Wraparound Settings / Home-Based Outreach Settings / Child Welfare Settings / Residential Settings / Community Health Settings
A deeper examination of Collaborative Helping as specifically applied in any of these particular settings.

Re-Thinking Resistance and Engaging Reluctant Families
Re-examine how we think about “resistance” and learn strategies to engage people who minimize problems or stubbornly insist that solutions are beyond their control.

Imagine: Bringing Vision into Child Protective Services
Learn concrete ways to elicit parents’ hopes and dreams for their children to develop family-generated visions of safety, permanency, and well-being that can guide child welfare efforts.

Assessment as Intervention: Building Resourcefulness while Examining Difficulties
Examine ways to thoroughly assess concerning problems while also eliciting, elaborating and acknowledging family abilities, skills and know-how.

Collaborative Approaches to Proactive Treatment / Action Planning
Examine ways to help people envision preferred directions in life, identify obstacles to and supports for that vision, and develop concrete action plans to help them attain that vision.

Externalizing: Questions that Can Change Lives
Learn ways to ask questions that help people separate from problems and connect to their best intentions and resourcefulness in effectively responding to challenging situations.

Helping Families Build Communities to Sustain Positive Change
Explore the use of narrative practices of letter writing, remembering interviews, letter writing, and witnessing practices to help people build and sustain communities of support.

Maps for Effective Supervision
Examine simple maps to help workers feel mattered, reconnect to their best practices, and further develop their capacity to think their way through complex situations in the work.

Reflective Leadership in Frenzied Times
Reconnect to the hopes and dreams that brought you to this work and develop concrete ways to ground supervisory and managerial leadership in reflection, appreciation and shared learning.

Sustaining Collaborative Practice in the “Real World”
Examine institutional forces that can constrain collaborative practice and explore concrete ways to develop organizational supports that sustain family-centered principles and values.

Successful Implementation of New Practice Approaches
Learn concrete strategies to foster readiness for change through organizational culture and implement new ideas through horizontal spread rather than simple vertical roll-out.

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – W.B. Yeats

Ready to learn more about working with FCSP?
Contact us for more information!