Conceptualising 'the relationship' in intensive key worker support as a therapeutic medium

PARR, Sadie (2015). Conceptualising 'the relationship' in intensive key worker support as a therapeutic medium. Journal of Social Work Practice, 30 (1), 25-42.

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Link to published version:: 10.1080/02650533.2015.1073146


Across various welfare and justice systems, intensive key worker support is a model of working considered effective for individuals and families identified as having multiple and complex needs. The high profile 'troubled families' programme in England is the most recent prominent example of such a model. The key worker role is to assess an individual’s needs, carry out support planning, provide and/or co-ordinate the delivery of supportive interventions and complete care plan reviews. This requires the key worker to work on a one-to-one basis with individuals which, in turn, demands the ability to form effective relationships. In this paper and using evidence from a number of studies, I look at how the key worker-client relationship is developed and maintained. I examine the skills, processes and communication strategies that allow key workers to engage clients, build relationships and drive change. I also explore the notion that the key worker-service user relationship is itself a ‘therapeutic’ medium and is therefore a productive practice in its own right. The paper suggests that while key workers might not be trained therapists or counsellors, they might be equipped to address some emotional challenges that individuals with complex needs face and build therapeutic relationships with them.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Identification Number: 10.1080/02650533.2015.1073146
Depositing User: Sarah Ward
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2015 09:30
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:11

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