Vulnerable families: a challenge for health visiting
The role of health visitors in working with vulnerable families should be considered in the context of health promotion and a flexible programme of child health surveillance. This is work which naturally involves working in partnership with parents, discussing methods of child care and helping to prevent or resolve problems which could be environmental or due to physical or emotional difficulties. Referring to other agencies when a child has developmental delay or is at risk of physical or emotional abuse can be vital in the primary function of meeting children’s health needs. Special skills in networking and good interpersonal skills are seen as key elements of the health visiting role (Baggaley and Bryans 1995). In this chapter the skills of health visiting channelled towards a family nursing approach to work with a vulnerable family are demonstrated and discussed.