Working in partnership with families facing adversity

: Nick Hopwood
Published: 2019
Pages: 28
ECA code: RIP1903

When families with young children are affected by adversity, early childhood professionals can be in a unique position to help them reduce the effects that difficult circumstances may have on children. How educators engage with families in these contexts matters greatly.

The idea of partnership refers to relationships between professionals and parents, based on trust, openness and mutual respect for one another’s expertise. Partnership is particularly important when engaging in a strengths-based way with parents facing additional pressures.

This book explains how:

  • educators and parents can recognise and work with differences, especially those related to knowledge and expertise
  • partnership can be understood and implemented as a mind-expanding process through which educators and parents can co-create new meanings, understanding and possibilities for action.

The book presents practical strategies—drawn from a study conducted in Australian settings—that can help educators work respectfully, jointly and effectively with parents affected by adversity. Through case studies and real-life examples, it also brings to life the key concepts of ‘making noticing count’ and working with ‘what matters’. These are two key strategies that can foster productive and respectful relationships with families. They capture elements of effective practices, build on early childhood professionals’ expertise, and offer possibilities for implementation and adaptation in diverse contexts.

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