Collaborative Helping

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An interdisciplinary framework for sustainable helping through cross-system collaboration

This hands-on resource provides clear, practical guidance for supportive service professionals working in a home-based environment. Drawing on best practices from a range of disciplines, this book provides a clear map for dealing with the complex and often ambiguous situations that arise with individuals and families, with applications extending to supervision and organizational change. Readers gain the advice and insight of real-world frontline helpers, as well as those who receive care, highlighting new ways to approach the work and re-think previous conceptualizations of problems and strengths. Helping efforts are organized around a shared, forward-thinking vision that anticipates obstacles and draws on existing and potential supports in developing a collaborative plan of action.

The book begins with stories that illustrate core concepts and context, presenting a number of useful ideas that can reorient behavioral services while outlining a principle-based practice framework to help workers stay grounded and focused. Problems are addressed, and strength-based work is expanded into richer conversations about strengths in the context of intention and purpose, value and belief, hopes, dreams, and commitments. Topics include:

  • Contextual guidance with helping maps
  • Engaging people and re-thinking problems and strengths
  • Dilemmas in home and community services
  • Sustainable helping through collaboration and support

A strong collaboration between natural networks, communities, and trained professionals across systems creates an effective helping endeavor. Ensuring sustainability may involve promoting systems change, and building institutional supports for specific supervisory, management, and organizational practices. Collaborative Helping provides a framework for organizing these efforts into a coherent whole, serving the needs of supportive services workers across sectors.

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