3.4 Acknowledging family structures

Practitioners and governors need a good knowledge of the many forms that family structures now take. It’s important not to assume that most children live with a mother and a father who are married. The image below (adapted from Tassoni, 2000, p. 272) summarises the main kinds of family arrangements that provide care for children. Click on each one for more details:

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These represent just a range of some of the ways that a child may live with their parent(s). Many children also live with carers, such as grandparents and other family members, or may be in some form of care. Those arrangements may change over time.

It is important to avoid making assumptions about the nature of families when working with parents and carers. A practitioner’s knowledge of a child’s family arrangements depends upon what children and their parents or carers feel that they want to disclose.

3.3 Working with ‘challenging’ parents and carers

4 Teamwork and leadership