Quality worker visits establish and maintain mutually beneficial partnerships with families that sustain their interest and commitment toward change while being culturally responsive to the diverse needs of families in the course of completing professional activities.
Engagement is obtained through conversation, not through interviews with the family members. Careful listening during the engagement process will often result in the early identification of primary family needs, the family’s long-term vision, and potential short-term goals, which may become objectives used in the family’s case plan.
The SSW completes the following tasks prior to and during an FTM or case planning conference in order to engage the family:
- Ensures that the family has input into the meeting time/date/location;
- Makes every effort when scheduling a face-to-face meeting to accommodate the family's schedule and impose as little disruption to work schedules as possible;
- Considers non-traditional hours for meeting including before and after hours or during lunch;
- Offers options such as participation by conference call or by written correspondence outlining progress or lack of progress in obtaining negotiated goals;
- Explains the purpose of the meeting and the role of all of the participants;
- Encourages the family to actively participate in problem solving:
- Gives family members time to talk about their concerns and issues;
- Listens to the family's concept of what is important;
- Explores the family’s vision for a safe future, which may be included in the case plan, to encourage co-ownership;
- Recognizes and builds upon the family's strengths; and
- Partners with families and other staff and uses engagement skills that focus on strengths of the family to build consensus.