Preventing Breakdown is a 'how-to' book. It explains how you as a front line worker, manager or policy maker can create an environment where families can exploit their potential to develop and protect their children. It offers tools and ideas that will guide workers into building on the family's strengths and self efficiency, developing family pride, a focus on solutions and a determination to secede.
Before making that most damaging step of taking children away from their homes and families and leaving them in strange and unfamiliar environments, childcare social workers, managers , and ultimately policy makers must be able to say that the alternatives have been tried, that the family and community strengths have been explored, developed and exploited and that there really is no other option.
Based on a way of working with childcare cases that originated in the USA ('Homebuilders'), this Option2 intervention model won the Community Care Award for Child Protection in 2001. The tools and concepts in this book are deeply practical, providing clear professional input and measurable outcomes for children and families. Workers using them will feel valued as professionals, confident when trying to work with difficult situations, and they will make more accurate assessments.
Rhoda Emlyn-Jones, Service Manager for Option2 at Cardiff, writes in her forward. "It is with great please and some awe that I commend Mark's excellent work... to bring this successful approach to a much wider audience".
Mark Hamer was a founding member of the award winning Option2 team in Cardiff. He is the author of The Barefoot Helper: mindfulness and creativity in social work and the helping professions.
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