ASK Family Support Services Philosophy
ASK recognises the importance of “early intervention” as a means to prevent children and young people drifting into crime at an older age. It places a strong emphasis on working with young people, children and their families. It does this through the management of a holistic social service – ASK Family Support Services.
The emphasis of these services is for early collaborative therapeutic intervention and preventative approaches that strengthens and find solutions for the well-being of their clients and families.
Using strength based social work approaches and facilitating an integrated support agency response, the ASK Family Support Services’ practice is based on the following principals:
- Risk minimisation can best be achieved through fostering of resiliency rather than focusing on problems.
- Resiliency promotes key protective factors of family, education, positive peers and community.
- Strength based practice is vital in the fostering of resiliency.
- The emphasis is placed on the client’s strengths and solutions rather than the problem.
- The client and their family are their own experts and can best identify their own strengths and solutions.
- The role of social worker is to facilitate a process which encourages the client and their family to identify their strengths and utilise these strengths to achieve their goals.
- The worker facilitates the process alongside the client and their family.
- A collaborative approach is more empowering for the client, their family, the worker and the organisation.
- Early intervention prevention is best.
Resiliency looks at what makes a young person resilient to issues of ‘risk’ for example drug and alcohol abuse, suicide and crime. Based on international longitudinal studies the main concepts of resiliency suggest, regardless of ethnicity, that if the young person feels a sense of belonging to family, education, community and their peer associates are positive then the young person is much more resilient to ‘risk’ (Blum 1998 & Wolff 1995).
Strength Based intervention
Strength based intervention continues to gain prominence for its focus on the positive rather than the negative abilities of the client and their family. The strength-based approach suggests that regardless of how difficult a situation may be, we all have strengths within ourselves that we can maximise in resolving our problems.
Using a collaborative strength-based approach when working with young people and their families allows a focus on fostering greater resiliency through assessing and identifying weaknesses in the child’s or young person’s ‘sense of belonging’ to the protective factors - family, education, community and peers. This in turn can facilitate change and a strengthening of these protective factors which is instrumental in minimising risk.
Family Support Services have a commitment to strength based and collaborative practice providing a community based social work service to the families of children and young people at risk, which work to develop protective factors to increase positive life chances.
The ASK Family Support Service is also actively involved in numerous community based groups, developing strategies around a variety of issues such as drug abuse, strength based practice, suicide, tertiary education and violence prevention.
The Family Support social workers liaise closely with the District Truancy Worker and the Strengthening Families Coordinator. Both these positions are located under the umbrella of the ASK Trust. Referrals are regularly made to Strengthening Families and the Coordinator will often ask the Family Support social workers to become involved with a family, after that family have indicated they would like assistance.
The ASK services are now recognised as an integral part of the Kapiti community. They allow the provision of a holistic Social Service to the Kapiti community using a strength based social work approach and an integrated support agency response to identified at-risk families, individuals, young people and children. The demand for these services has increased in the past two years. This demand / growth is indicative of not only the increased need of a growing community, but also of the community wide recognition that A Safe Kapiti provides a professional, innovative and effective social service to the families and young people of the Kapiti Coast.
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