The Safeguarding and Domestic Abuse Boards have noticed a common theme appearing in multiple reviews (Child Safeguarding Practice Reviews, Safeguarding Adult Reviews and Domestic Homicide Reviews) across both the children and adult sectors, and that is the concept of ‘Think Family’.
Think Family means securing better outcomes for adults, children and families by coordinating the support and delivery of services from all organisations When an individual first has contact with any service they should receive a welcome into a system of joined-up support and safeguarding together with coordination between adult and children's services.
In order to achieve this, services working with both adults and children should take into account family circumstances and responsibilities. Families do not exist in isolation, they are part of a wider network and Think Family aims to promote the importance of a whole-family approach, ensuring practitioners work in partnership and collaboration with families recognising and promoting resilience and helping them to build their capabilities.
The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) website talks in more detail about the concept of Think Family.
Families can be complex and could mean many things to different people, for example it could be blood relatives, it could be community, cultural or religious groups or it could be friends. It’s about learning who is involved in an individual’s everyday life and working out the links between the different people, using genograms for example, bearing in mind there may be influential people in the family circle who don’t visit regularly (if they live abroad for example).
Evidence from reviews continue to highlight cross generational issues, including where family relationships and dynamics have been factors. For example: