Family–professional collaboration in pediatric rehabilitation: a practice model
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PURPOSE: Family--professional collaboration is essential to optimize outcomes of children with disabilities and the families. METHOD: The authors incorporated current knowledge to formulate principles of collaborative service delivery in pediatric rehabilitation, develop a 4-step process of implementation, and recommend strategies that professionals can use to foster a collaborative process between families and professionals. The 4-step process and key elements of each step are described in detail to illustrate application of the model to practice. RESULTS: The model is based on three key principles of collaborative service delivery: family-identified needs, shared responsibility, and family empowerment. Collaboration involves two-way interactions through which families and professionals share knowledge and skill, make shared decisions on goals and intervention, and build capacity in order to foster family empowerment and optimize outcomes. The 4-step process involves: (1) Mutually agreed-upon goals, (2) Shared planning, (3) Shared implementation, and (4) Shared evaluation. A unique feature of the model is the inclusion of collaborative strategies facilitated by the professional including client-centered interview, visualizing a preferred future, scaling question, family routine and activity matrix. CONCLUSION: The model may have utility for optimizing collaboration between families and professionals to foster family empowerment and optimize child and family outcomes. Implications for Rehabilitation Family--professional collaboration is essential to optimize outcomes of children with disabilities and families. The model of collaborative service delivery is based on three key principles: family identified needs, shared responsibility, and family empowerment. The model of collaborative service delivery is implemented using a four step process: (1) mutually agreed-upon goals, (2) shared-planning, (3) shared implementation, and (4) shared-evaluation. The unique feature of the model is the integration of specific strategies and procedures for professionals to foster collaborative processes between families and professionals.
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