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Engaging parents and carers: creating a working alliance - An ethical engagement framework to support confidence and best practice

Event Details
Date: 30th Nov 2019
Venue: Melbourne, Vic
CPD hrs: 7

Student and new graduate rates available

Organiser: The Professional Development People
Further information

Event date has passed

This course will help participants develop skills in positive engagement of parents/carers from the outset. The course aims to provide participants with an engagement framework that complements all their existing knowledge and skills. It brings together knowledge of trauma, attachment, shame research, attunement, invitations to responsibility framework, parental ethics, and their role in ethical client engagement. Participants will learn ways to recruit parents into an alliance with focus on the wellbeing of the child in their care and the existing expertise they hold in their parenting role, thereby gaining a vital ally in the potentially fraught parent/worker relationship.

Participants will acquire best practice skills and strategies, leading them to feel more confident in engaging families, meeting challenges and preventing burnout by focusing their energy more effectively, as well as give them an opportunity to reflect on their own clinical attitudes towards a client group that is often difficult to engage deeply. With consistent and mindful use of these skills participants will be able to support sustainability of change and resilience within the family unit by enhancing the family’s own capacity. The course is specifically built on the framework of parents as the wounded experts who, despite their childhood wounds, can connect with their own caring wisdom and grow as adults, becoming grounded in their parenting role and responsibility, consequently providing the most protective factor for the child’s growth and development.

Multiple research directions (attachment, ethics, shame, trauma) will come together to equip participants with the crucial knowledge for successful engagement that protects the worker/client relationship. Ultimately, the framework acts as a ‘professional stance’ navigating tool when working with parents/carers. Role plays will allow participants to experiment in deliberately adopting the framework while harnessing their existing skills to engage clients in ways that are mindful of trauma histories, power imbalances, boundaries, personal responsibility, and the individual’s power to grow, heal, show resilience, and parent lovingly despite their history.

Participants will be able to consider their most challenging client engagement experience and workshop an approach of engaging the client that feels authentic to them and realistic for their workplace. Participants will practice the use of the framework on the day, giving them the opportunity to troubleshoot or fine tune their use of their skills as they align with the framework of engagement.

Learning objectives

  1. Develop specific skills required to positively engage with families
  2. Feel more confident in delivering essential psycho-education to parents/carers
  3. Learn ways to engage parents/carers in their own responsibility to create change
  4. Be able to set clear boundaries in your interaction with families
  5. Take away strategies that will support parents/carers to connect to their own personal wisdom, power, and responsibility
  6. Develop a personal approach based on clinical wisdom and best practice principles to effectively engage parents/carers
  7. Obtain an evidence-based framework of engagement that can hold all your existing skills and be easily translated to other contexts and client groups.

Learning outcomes

How will you benefit from attending this training?

  • Deepen their clinical practice by using the ethical engagement framework as a guide in their engagement of clients.
  • Place their existing skills within the ethical engagement framework that can be used with other client groups.
  • Gain new skills and greater confidence in own practice style for successful client engagement.

Presenter details

Maya Floyd is a Psychologist with over 12 years' experience in the community and welfare sector. She has worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families in the areas of youth homelessness prevention, out of home care services and adolescent and family therapy. Maya developed this presentation after training with Mary Jo McVeigh of Cara House in the area of ethical engagement of parents and carers of young people at risk, and has had the privilege of taking it to numerous services across Australia. Maya holds a BA in Psychology, Post Graduate studies in Psychology, a specialisation in Existential Therapeutic Practice, is an Educator at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP), is an accredited Trainer and Assessor. She is currently completing a Master degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy and maintaining a modest private practice of clinical work and supervision.

Location and date

Mantra on Russell
222 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

30 November 2019



Standard fee: $288

This event is fully catered and all resources are provided.

Students and new graduates may apply to attend at a discount apply here.


Register online by clicking here

Ph: 1300 887 622

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers