Working with families as part of early childhood intervention services

family-centred practice in an individualised funding landscape

Christine Johnston*, Denise Luscombe, Loraine Fordham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Australia has long put family-centred practice at the policy centre of early childhood intervention (Brock et al., 1996; Johnston, 2003). However, its implementation has been less assured with researchers such as Summers et al. (2005), and later Fordham, Gibson, and Bowes (2011), stating that whilst most service providers would characterise their practice as family-centred, that is frequently not the experience reported by families. Indeed, Fordham et al. (2011) reported that approximately half of the 130 family participants in their study stated that they were not experiencing family-centred care. Nor is this an isolated finding. For example, Turnbull, Turbiville and Turnbull (2000) and more recently, Arney and Scott (2013), have pointed to a continued focus on developing the child’s skills and behaviours, with family involvement most generally confined to the mother. Service providers aspire to and embrace the philosophy but continue to have difficulty working in ways which fully engage the family in the decision-making which is at the heart of family-centred practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarly childhood intervention
Subtitle of host publicationworking with families of young children with special needs
EditorsHanan Sukkar, Carl J. Dunst, Jane Kirkby
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781315688442, 9781317421153
ISBN (Print)9781138918511
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEvolving Families

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