Functional Family Therapy (FFT) have been engaging is some great work helping families in the community become stronger. The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) were so impressed with the family’s progress after working with FFT they closed the family’s case. The family had been through much adversity with Mum being a survivor of severe Domestic Violence, childhood abuse and in recovery from substances. The FFT worker was able to connect well with Mum and the children who elected to continue with FFT sessions even after the family went through a significant tragedy in the middle of therapy. Mum was able to begin to build a foundation to improve her self-esteem and then was able to help her children to start to do the same. Mum gained the confidence she needed in her parenting ability that enabled her to put boundaries in place to help keep her children safe. Mum had not typically engaged with services in the past and due to the positive experience, she had with the therapist Mum accepted the FFT referrals provided to her for further support services in the home after the completion of therapy.
Quote form DCJ Caseworker; “Thanks so much for the groundwork you have done to get Mum to this point of understanding and confidence. Mum has really connected with you and takes on board the discussion you have had”.
By Sara, Family Therapist – FFT-CW
Working in FFT is always different. You see different families with different configurations, different strengths and struggles, and different ways of coping.
Over the past year, FFT has had the opportunity to work with a couple in their early 20’s, who accepted the care of a relative who was in her early teens. Their family changed overnight from being a young couple to carers of a young person. That was a big change for them and FFT was brought in to help them to smooth out some of the bumps that would inevitably arise.
The young couple were incredibly intelligent and attuned to what their young person needed, but having never been parents before, they needed support to understand their young person’s behaviours and how this impacted them individually and as a family. They were also given parenting tips and tools.
One of the tools that has been most helpful is to Press PAUSE during moments of conflict and take some time to take deep, slow breaths to calm down. Once calm they can have a discussion and come to an agreement about how to move forward. The young couple also found it helpful to have a therapist who could normalise their experience of parenting teens.
The young person now attends NCNS’ Youth Program and the cultural activities at Koolyangarra Aboriginal Child and Family Centre. When FFT was completed, the family transitioned to NCNS’ Casuarina Aboriginal Family Project for further therapeutic support.
By Narelle, Family Therapist – FFT-CW