Family Partnership Model

What is the Family Partnership Model? 

“The Family Partnership Model has played a pivotal role in consolidating and developing our service. The impact of the FPM training was so significant that it contributed to wider training of the Children’s Services workforce in the borough.” Manager, Wandsworth.

The Family Partnership Model (FPM) is an internationally recognised exemplar of partnership practice for prevention, early intervention and the management of longer term difficulties and conditions.

Carefully developed over three decades, the effectiveness of the Family Partnership Model in improving mental health, relationship and service outcomes has been extensively evaluated through a number of research trials conducted by the Centre as well as independent randomised trials.

At its heart, FPM enables practitioners to develop effective partnerships with parents and use a structured and flexible relational, goal-orientated approach to achieve the best possible outcomes. The Model explicitly builds on and uses family strengths and expertise, specifies key practitioner qualities and skills, and helping tasks that enable parents and families to change and achieve the very best for their children and themselves.

The Family Partnership Model provides the underpinning framework and practice for a number of other evidence based programmes including the Helping Families Programme, the Antenatal/Postnatal Promotional Guides, Health, Exercise and Nutrition for the Really Young (HENRY), the South Australia Family Home Visiting programme and Maternal Early Childhood Sustained Home-visiting (MECSH).

In addition to consultation, reflective practice and evaluation activities, the key training programmes central to the dissemination of the Family Partnership Model include:

  • FPM Foundation Course for clinicians and practitioners.
  • FPM Supervision Courses.
  • FPM Facilitator Course.

The Family Partnership Model is supported by manualised practice materials and reflective practice resources.

Who is it for?

Practitioners trained in FPM are from every section of the children’s workforce and include psychiatrists, clinical and educational psychologists, mental health nurses, health visitors, early years and child centre workers, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, youth offending practitioners, social workers and occupational therapists.

The programme has been used by practitioners who work with families experiencing a wide range of different needs, including parenting difficulties, child mental health difficulties, child disability, learning and educational difficulties, childhood obesity, pre-term birth, families experiencing multiple stresses and complex psychosocial difficulties, and adult mental health difficulties and learning disability.  

Where is it being used? 

The Family Partnership Model is used extensively in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand, and more recently commissioned in Japan and the USA. It is used across a wide range of service settings, including community health services, social services, children’s and early years centres, schools, child development service, and child and adolescent mental health services.

How is it being studied? 

FPM has a well-established research base, including prevention and early intervention studies conducted by the Centre for Parent and Child Support and studies conducted by independent researchers.  A strength of the research is that it has involved frontline practitioners and families in regular service settings.

The research has involved many different types of family situation, including, young children with emotional and behavioural problems, children with developmental difficulties, and families involved in universal and targeted promotional and prevention programmes in pregnancy and the first year after birth.

Findings show that FPM has a positive impact on the developmental progress of children, parent-child interaction, and the psychological functioning of parents, families and children, when compared, most often, with care and treatment as usual.

Share this page