chapter  8
Promoting children’s welfare through Family Support
ByCarmel Devaney
Pages 10

This chapter explores the potential of Family Support to respond to issues negatively impacting on children's welfare, with specific attention paid to the parent–child relationship and to the experience of family life. In most instances the welfare of the child depends on the capacity of the family to meet their needs, and a large body of research highlights the role of parents in promoting children's healthy development and well-being right through into adulthood. While there are alternative viewpoints, popular discourse on childhood holds that it is a socially constructed concept determined by context, time and culture. High-quality responsive Family Support can impact positively on children's well-being and, in the majority of instances, it is through supporting families that children are protected. Fundamental to the Family Support approach are a core set of service and practice characteristics and a strong value base that underpin its delivery. A strengths-based perspective is also considered a cornerstone of practice in Family Support.