How can I use my expertise effectively while working in partnership with families?

How can I use my expertise without being a bossy expert?

How can I avoid getting stuck in the relationship?

Working in partnership with families does not mean that professional expertise and specialist knowledge no longer count. They remain vital. However, it can be tricky to know how to wield expertise and put knowledge to work without becoming the dominant expert who knows it all and just tells parents what to do.



The Creating Better Futures study discovered five pathways through which helpers' expertise was used effectively. In all cases, these upheld the broad principles of partnership, including qualities of working with parents in a mind-expanding way. The pathways reveal more of the evolving art of impactful partnership and further illustrate how small things can have big effects. Find out more in the sections dedicated to each of these, via the links below.

Making noticing count   

Transforming small and unnoticed things into significant and empowering experiences

Four partnership activities

Dynamic forms of expertise and mutual responsibilities to bring about change

What matters: helper-parent

Using common knowledge as a resource to align interventions with what matters to parents

Escaping impossible situations

How to spot and resolve instances where parents get stuck or simply don't know what to do


What matters: parent-child

Helping parents understand what matters to their child and respond accordingly - expertise in making common knowledge between parents and children available as a resource


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