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This question highlights some important nuances in relation to sharing information and engaging with parents. Thanks for raising it and your understanding that there will be limits to responding within this forum. Drawing on the concept of attachment theory as part of developing the parent practitioner alliance or interpersonal communication is a topic worthy of its own space. Given that I’m largely going to respond to the 2nd part of your question here. I believe this is a little different from sharing information such as, awareness raising about X, practical strategies for parents in responding to Y, fact sheets explaining Z etc. Sharing detailed information about the basis on which people offer particular approaches or interventions, in my experience is best done within context of a program supporting or considering it (your second point). Most well-structured programs utilising attachment theory incorporate this knowledge in a very integrated fashion through guidance based on observation and illustration in situ. (Circle of security, Smalltalk are just some examples). If considering referring a parent to attachment-informed program or practitioner, prior liaison with them is often not only preferred but a practice that can establish the interprofessional collaborative aspect of engagement as we discussed in the webinar. Initiating a partnership between referrer and program before the idea is posed to a parent provides considerable benefits. Your confidence in being able to prepare the parent ahead strengthens not only the likelihood of them engaging with the program or practitioner but ultimately also of the intervention itself. And your confidence can only be strengthened by the quality of the liaison and education you receive from the provider. e.g. “ I’m considering this program as an option for this client so I would like to be fully informed about what your expectations are and what they can expect before I suggest this. I’m keen to establish this is a transparent partnership if that’s feasible. ” Providing parents with feedback from people who have benefited from a particular approach, alongside what rationale and evidence exists for it, provides a sensible balance to allow for people’s varying values and the way they receive information. So, asking if a program can provide that experiential evidence and routinely seeking evaluative comment from participants would be important activities that stock your Engagement Toolbox. (A plug for routine feedback and evaluation being collected by services (common) and then made good use of (rare)!
Angela and Myfanwy