What is a family coach?

Family coaches are highly experienced professionals who provide intensive support to parents and carers of children with complex challenging behaviour that may include autism/autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

How can I be referred?

Your family support worker or social worker will have identified that you may benefit from a more intensive level of support. They will have discussed potential benefits and goals with you and made sure you are motivated to work with a family coach to affect positive change.

Aims of family coaching

Based on the principles of coaching and a focus on goals and solutions, family coaching aims to:

  • provide you with pre or post diagnosis support, education and information on local services and support networks;
  • empower you as a parent to have the tools and insight to manage your child’s challenging behaviour that is leading to difficulties in home, school or the community; and
  • prevent your family from experiencing breakdown or crisis.
What work might be covered?

A planned schedule of about six to 12 weeks of sessions will be agreed. The family coach will become part of the ‘team around the family’ that is working with your child and your family. They will attend the reviews scheduled by the family support worker or social worker and be part of the care plan. Support will be personalised to what you require and want to achieve, as well as being in line with the care plan set out by your family support worker or social worker. Each session will use a range of coaching and teaching approaches to empower and develop you as a parent and to support you in achieving your goal. As a general guide this may include work around:

  • understanding your child’s diagnosis and strategies to support them individually;
  • addressing changes to your parenting style and increasing your confidence and understanding in what works for you and your family;
  • developing positive routines within the home;
  • linking you with local and national support networks; and
  • observations of current family functioning, identifying areas of need and recommendations for how to do things differently.
What happens after 12 weeks (end of the family coach involvement)?

At the end of our work together, we will review what work should continue and any other areas for support to be carried forward with you and your family support worker or social worker. There will be a follow up review after six weeks of ending our involvement to discuss how effective the work has been and any areas that still require support.

Further information

Please speak to your family support worker or social worker for further details. Or you can email strengthening.families@achievingforchildren.org.uk