Back to homepage
The Principles
As a guideline for its work, the Initiative has developed a set of principles which emphasise the basic attitudes and beliefs underlying the commitment to building strong communities to support families. These principles serve to support policy makers and practitioners, volunteers and professionals, in their work for and with families and communities.
  • Principles for Practice
  • Principles For Strengthening Communities to Support Families
Principles for Practice

To be effective, family supports and services:
  • To work with the family in the community, and not just with the child.
  • To allow the child and parents to set the agenda and not the professional, working with them rather than for them.
  • To work in a positive, productive way, step-by-step, achieving pragmatic and realistic goals.
  • To work only with what the family knows or is able to understand at each stage.
  • To build on strengths rather than emphasizing problems, focusing on the possibilities and resources of all persons involved.
  • To recognize the diversity in families and in all work respect the special culture, racial, ethnic, and religious traditions that make families distinct.
Principles For Strengthening Communities to Support Families
  • Healthy communities produce healthy families. Helping strategies are effective when they support familes where they live - within their immediate community
  • When families and neighbourhood residents play leadership roles in planning and implementaiton, neighbourhood supports are more likely to respond to residents´ needs and be more effective
  • Natural helpers, neighbours, friends, and family members are the cornerstone of effective neighbourhood strategies. Formal services are in turn more productive when they respect, support, link to, and build on the capacity of natural helpers
  • Neighbourhood strategies evolve. Resident leaders and public and private agency staff can expect strategies to change and improve continually in order to better achieve desired results.
  • Effective neighbourhood strategies use the skills and energies of many people and organisations. Everyone with a stake in helping families succeed can work together to build supportive neighbourhoods.