chapter  8
11 Pages

Toward the promotion of child and family wellbeing: identifying the commonality of all experience for children, parents and families

Throughout the book, the emphasis has been on listening to clients and patients and providing a facilitating therapeutic process that will enhance their capacity to think and act on their own behalf, rather than providing self-limiting instrumental strategies mainly directed to the control of their behaviour. The point has been made that the current preoccupation with identifying pathology in the child and young person, outside of the family and social context, not only compromises the child and young person but also compromises the ability of professionals to advocate on their behalf. Community psychologists are emphatic that shifting the locus of control away from pathological interpretations of children's behaviour is a key factor in promoting positive health and social outcomes for children and families (Prilleltensky, 2005; Fox et al., 2009; Maton, 2000). Prilleltensky (2005: 6) states in this regard that, `As long as local governments, states, nations and international bodies neglect prevention and acquiesce to the dictates of the medical model, not much will change in the health and wellbeing of the population'. Maton (2000) advocates for a social ecological framework within which to consider child and family mental health. He asserts that it is time for the lens of critical analysis to turn on what he describes as the `objectifying methodologies [and] status quo-oriented paradigms' utilized by professionals, ostensibly in the service of children and families. Ultimately, Maton challenges us by asking the question, `Whose interests are being served?' (Maton, 2000: 40±41).