By Franceria Moore
Traditional case management has sometimes viewed the family as something to be fixed or a problem to be solved. This minimizes or forgets that every family brings strengths to the table and that families know best what they need. Because of funding requirements or organizational mission, coaching approaches can also sometimes focus on only one aspect of a parent’s life. To support families holistically, human services must put participants in the lead and hold a wide view of family interests.
Family-Centered Coaching is an approach to coaching families towards goals that are important and necessary to their family’s success. This effectively flips the paradigm of service delivery to put participants in the driver’s seat. Even as a coach, though, you have several approaches you can use to help families as they progress through stages of change. What is key is knowing a participant’s current stage of change so that you can determine which approach would be most aligned with their needs.
Providing case management with a coaching approach means recognizing that during a time of crisis that the family may need you to take more of a hands-on approach. It also means recognizing and supporting the interests and values of the participant. This allows a coach to hold the participant’s agenda as the family progresses through the stages of change. As they do, your approach will become driven less by you as the case manager and more by the expertise of the participant.
So, how does a coach maintain a coaching mindset within case management?
- Approach every session with the intention to stay goal-driven, participant-centered, and strengths-based.
- Keep asking powerful questions, listening reflectively, holding the focus of the session, and creating trust and partnership by asking permission. You can learn more about these skills at If you are interested in learning more about the four coaching skills on our Coaching Up Close YouTube Channel.
- Practice using What Does It Sound Like When Coaches Use FCC Approaches? is an FCC tool (below) that provides examples of what is sounds like when they apply each FCC approach.
These practices demonstrate that you value the participant as the driver in their journey toward their goals even as the coach is driving the activities during the session.
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