What is Family Coaching?

Family Coaching helps struggling caregivers who are caring for a child by strengthening their role as a parent through teaching and support services, reducing the likelihood that the family and child will become isolated, disempowered or disengaged.

This coaching can be broken down into five specific categories. Below we will explore these five categories of Family Coaching and specific interventions that can be utilized within each category:

Outreach and Information

Family Coaching equips families with the information they need to make educated decisions regarding the type of services and support that are needed for themselves and their child.

The Family Life Coach:

  • Shares information about resources and services that may be appropriate for the child and family.
  • Brainstorms with families their needs and preferences regarding services to assist them in understanding what might be most beneficial for the family and the child.
  • Assists the family in understanding service provision processes, including eligibility, assessments, applications for services, etc.

Engagement, Bridging and Transition Support

Family Coaching empowers families with the ability to access appropriate services and supports for the family and the child.

The Family Life Coach:

  • Assists the family in identifying the strengths they currently possess.
  • Accompanies families when they interview service providers and visits programs to assist the family in assessing appropriateness for the family and child.
  • Role plays meetings between families and service providers to enhance families’ confidence in interacting with professionals.
  • Assists the family to gather, organize and prepare documents needed for specific services.
  • Brainstorms with the family barriers to accessing services and motivates them to address barriers to increase participation with services.
  • Promotes continuity of care between all services providers, the family, and the child.

Self-Advocacy, Self-Efficacy, and Empowerment

Family Coaching assists the family in gaining skills to be able to advocate for themselves, work independently and feel in control of services provided.

The Family Life Coach:

  • Advocates in collaboration with the family to encourage shared decision making.
  • Consults with the family regularly to determine if the family feels that their perspective is being included in service provision.
  • Coaches and models shared-decision making skills that support collaboration.
  • Models’ strengths-based interactions by focusing on the positive.
  • Supports the family in identifying strengths and ways they can utilize these strengths to make progress toward short and long-term goals.
  • Encourages families to express their fear and expectations to promote positive effective communication.
  • Encourages the family to participate in their supportive community.
  • Utilizes their lived experience to relate to families in regard to struggles with accessing services.

Community Connections and Natural Supports

Family Coaching encourages families to get connected to their community and natural support systems to enhance their ability to manage independently.

The Family Life Coach:

  • Assists family in rediscovering and reconnecting to natural supports.
  • Brainstorms with families’ resources they can utilize to create new supports using their own knowledge of their community.
  • Utilizes their lived experience to share how they have connected to their community and natural supports.
  • Provides parental skill development and supports families in finding ways to strengthen their child’s physical health, mental, emotional and developmental wellbeing.
  • The Family Life Coach: Helps families to learn ways to utilize techniques to support their child’s positive behaviors.
  • Helps the family to implement strategies provided to them by a clinician and medication managers.
  • Supports the family in communicating needs to providers to ensure they obtain skills they require to support their child in developing positive behaviors.
  • Supports the family by utilizing the lived experience to assist the family in reducing isolation, stigma, blame, and hopelessness.