This chapter presents two quite different case vignettes illustrating contributors’ use of a family therapy approach in their agencies. Important issues are highlighted including convening, impasse, and the use of different methods, as well as relating to colleagues, management, and other professionals. The material for this chapter was contributed by the practitioners named. It has been edited by the author.
Issues affecting family work in a social services department are illustrated in the following case example (see Figure 21).
Following Allan’s removal into care some months previously, Peter began presenting as beyond the control of his parent: he began to truant, steal, and bully his siblings.
This case could be seen as ‘unsuitable’ for family therapy. Family problems were long-standing and Mrs Nelson had established a relationship of dependence on social workers over a period of six years. Her family of origin were notorious as habitual clients of social services and were difficult to work with in any constructive fashion. Various workers had enthusiastically embarked on establishing a helping relationship with the family only to end up feeling drained and disillusioned. A repetitive