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Assisting Families
Through Life Transitions

CEUs are available for this presentation at AllCEUs

Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LMHC
Executive Director,
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox and Case Management Toolbox
Flower Empower
• A comprehensive approach
• The core of the flower is the clinician-family partnership
• Assess need
• Sustain a caring environment
• Educate
• Identify and link to resources
• The stem symbolizes advocacy activities
• The leaves symbolize vision, values and principles
• The roots feed the flower (partnership):
• Responsibility and accountability
• Recognition of the value of the partnership
• Respect uniqueness
• Resource identification for emerging needs
• Results monitoring
Clinician – Family Partnership
• Recognize family assessment of the situation as essential
• Respect the important role of family
• Determine the desired degree of family involvement
• Negotiate the roles of clinician and family within the partnership
• Listen
• Engage in participatory dialog
• Recognize patterns
• Highlight family strengths
• Within the context of the family
• Identify if assistance is required to strengthen the family
• Information
• Family structure and composition
• Culture
• Power and Role Structures
• Communication
• Access to Resources
• Environmental characteristics
• Family strengths
• Family supports
• Family perception of events
• Degree of involvement desired by family

Sample Questions
• Who would you like us to share information with and who not?
• How can we be most helpful to you and your family or friends during this transition? (Clarifies expectations, increased collaboration)
• What has been most/least helpful to you in past times of crisis?
(Identifies past strengths, problems to avoid and successes to repeat)
• What is the greatest challenge facing your family right now?
(Indicates actual/potential suffering, roles, and beliefs)
• What do you need to best prepare you/your family member for dealing with this issue?(Assists with early discharge planning)
• Who do you believe is suffering the most in your family at this time?
(Identifies which family member requires the greatest support and intervention)
• What is the one question you would most like to have answered right now? (Explores the most pressing issue or concern)
• How have I been most helpful to you? How could I improve?
(Demonstrates a willingness to learn and work collaboratively)

• Sources of Resources and Support
• Intrafamilial (within)
• Extrafamilial (outside) such as community services, training programs
• Interfamilial (between) like support groups
Values and Principles
• Recognize personal assumptions and values about families and cultural beliefs and to adjust their care accordingly.
• Families are unique, diverse, and change over time
• Families in transition can make informed decisions
• Families have expert knowledge and skills that help them determine their own needs and respond to expected and unexpected life events.
• Partnerships with families are built upon mutual trust, honesty, and collaboration
• Partnerships support and strengthen families
• Families should be supported in their choices
• Family members and the client may have different and conflicting needs
• Target groups
• Clinicians
• Families
• Policymakers
• The public
• Provide pre-emptive information to assist families in managing expected or unexpected life events
Workplace environment
• Ensure staff is oriented to family-centered care
• Ensure clinicians can effectively access resources
• Provide ongoing opportunities for professional development
• Ensure appropriate staffing levels and placement
• Implement family-centered practices and policies
• Create work environment conducive to promoting family involvement
• Develop employee assistance programs promoting family health
• Ensure policies promote work-life balance
• Lobbying
• Family care giving
• Public education about the legitimacy of family caregivers
• Consistency in funding for respite care and research
• Mechanisms within organizations for family
Question to Ponder
• Think of your collective experience from supporting families during life transitions.
• If you could change one aspect of the care and support they received, what would it be?
• What would you make different for them?

• Assessment of organizational readiness
• Involvement of direct and indirect members
• Dedication
• Ongoing opportunities for collaboration
• Opportunities for personal reflection
• The Flower Empower model provides a simple but comprehensive framework for developing a working partnership.