Increasing staffs’ practice skills and capabilities while supporting families

News, Prevention & Strengthening | Posted April 8, 2020
Increasing staffs’ practice skills and capabilities while supporting families

Common Elements is being trialled with practitioners in OzChild’s family services and foster care teams in Frankston and within just a few short weeks more harmonious environments are being achieved in households where communication would often result in conflict.

Aimed at improving family communication skills this new trial, introduced by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has already begun to produce some fantastic outcomes for families in need of additional support.

Jane* and her 10 year old son Nathan* were struggling to communicate, in most instances when they did communicate the conversation regularly escalated to yelling, verbal abuse and on occasion, Nathan would become aggressive, throwing items at his mum.

With the help of the Common Elements program, an OzChild practitioner conducted a family communication session, teaching important ground rules and techniques to improve Jane and Nathan’s ability to communicate.

Since working with the OzChild practitioner, Jane has not reported a single incident which has been an excellent outcome for the family, this has allowed the practitioner to focus on other issues without risking escalations.

The Common Elements project, launched by DHHS in 2019, involves evidence informed common practice elements (or common elements) which are techniques used to engage clients and to facilitate changes in attitudes or behaviours.

The program has been crucial in increasing staffs’ practice skills and capabilities – which have become all the more important due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis – meaning they can rely more on their interpersonal skills and engagement with families, and less on face to face engagement.

OzChild is one of a number of agencies currently trialing the project. We look forward to sharing more stories of the positive outcomes being achieved through this trial.

Learn more about Common Elements


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