Developing effective leadership in Child and Family Practice
In this chapter the author introduces the importance of leadership skills for addressing the challenges inherent to Child and Family Practice. Due to the complexity of the field, provision of manualised policies and procedures provides essential but not sufficient guidance for practitioners. The level of ambiguity inherent to the sector is one reason that positive outcomes with clients demand strong leadership. The chapter discusses styles and theories of leadership, and distinguishes between different approaches. These include: managerialism, transformational and transactional theories; situational and distributive leadership; and coaching and reflective practice. The chapter argues that good leadership within Child and Family Practice settings is enhanced when organisations are structured to promote and support leadership development. Additionally, the author asserts that individuals need to have strong knowledge of how to adapt their leadership styles to best suit the circumstances. The chapter presents interviews with inspiring leaders working within a range of child and family sector contexts. Identified leaders in Child and Family Practice present their own approaches as examples of implementation of the leadership styles identified in the chapter.