EU report says trusting relationships is key success factor for family services

EU report says trusting relationships is key success factor for family services

by Jason Roberts

March 29, 2019

One of the main success factors contributing to effective outreach and support programs for families is the establishment of trusting relationships, a report released by the European Union (EU) funded project called Inclusive Education and Social Support to Tackle Inequalities in Society (ISOTIS) has found.  


The ISOTIS project aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development at different levels within the EU in order to “effectively combat early arising and persisting educational inequalities”. It aims to achieve this by looking at a range of factors, including creating effective and inclusive curricula and pedagogies in early childhood education and care centres and primary schools; professionalise staff, centres and schools to improve quality and inclusiveness; and, establish further co-ordination between support services for children and families.


The authors of the latest report, titled Case studies of promising parent- and family-focused support programme, studied family and parenting support programs throughout England, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. They found that the most successful family outreach programs were staffed with trusted members of the community that families could identify with, either via shared backgrounds and experiences, or deeper knowledge of the families’ situations.


The findings of the report found that body language was also important, and that professionals should meet parents at eye level, but most importantly, respect parents as experts of their own children. It was also found that the services offered needed to be carefully adapted to the specific needs of each family.


“Professionals’ attitudes towards the families, such as respect, egalitarian view of parents, and empowerment, were acknowledged as relevant for effective outreach,” the report authors said.

To read the report in full, visit the ISOTIS website.