Family-centred practice, person-centred practice guides

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For working with children, adolescents and young adults and their families, this is the organisational guide that accompanies the foundation document and the 5 practice guides in a suite of seven.    Provides important reminders and reinforcement about the need for systemic and reflective organisational practice.


The foundation guide notes the policy context is towards greater emphasis on: evidence-based and reflective practice; inclusion and participation; choice, self-determination and self-directed support; service integration; and partnership with families.

All the guides are well written and are not being too preachy although there is certainly more than a hint of that at times.

What we like in the foundation guide is its focus on principles and acknowledgement of conflicts between family and clients together with a good deal of effort generally in the guides to make the content ‘real’ with case studies.

The foundation guide and subsequent practice guides are too long and the linkage with evidence-based and reflective practice is weak. They avoid being ‘academic’ in style and content but consequently fails to make out a compelling case for the practice. All good as far as it goes but who is the audience?

This reviewer think that those that are likely to engage with these resources are probably allied health practitioners moving into the disability arena, parents and trainers - rather than support workers or even organisations directly. Nevertheless, the guides are a rich source of examples and ideas - so do provide some readymade material to lead internal discussions and training.

Fundamentally the guides are sound but they have to be read in light of the different operating environment of the NDIS which places a yet stronger emphasis on individual and family choice in its approach to pricing - than applied when they were written.

Together with the foundation document five of the guides provide more tips and ideas for practice in specific settings:

(i) early childhood intervention;

(ii) intake planning and case management;

(iii) practice in private practice, schools and clinical settings;

(iv) for disability support workers; and

(v) school staff guide for those with student support roles.

The sixth guide focuses on what organisations need to do to support this practice. The foundational document and the five practice guides are the subject of this review. The organisational guide has its own review. Overall, these documents are definitely worth considering for inclusion in your L&D work.


Resource Information

  • Author: Victorian Government, Department of Human Services and Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Date: Before 2012
  • Target Audience: Operational level (frontline, direct service delivery)
  • Access to Item is free?: Yes
  • Type of Resource: Integrated resource