Support families to develop relationships

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to assist children and parents to achieve positive relationships in situations of separation or divorce


This unit applies to staff working in Children's' Contact Services and within the regulations of Family Law legislation associated with facilitated contact


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Engage with families to determine relationship issues

1.1 Use appropriate communication techniques to assess the relationshipdynamics of both parents and child/young person

1.2 Identify the needs of each party and discuss appropriate support and response options

1.3 Documentfamily relationship goals, plans and actions according to organisation policy

2. Support relationship building

2.1 Model positive parenting and interactions with children

2.2 Demonstrate use of play techniques for interacting with child/and or young person

2.3 Model cooperation, negotiation and assertion skills to resolve relationship conflict

2.4 Encourage the child and/or young person to interact with the parent through role modelling and demonstration of appropriate behaviour

2.5 Provide feedback and positive affirmations to support families in relationship building

3. Activate referrals

3.1 Refer to services that will support specific issues impacting on the development of relationships

3.2 Identify community resource options for family interactions and relationship development

3.3 Advocate for community support services to meet family's needs

4. Respond to inappropriate parental behaviour

4.1 Debrief the residential parent and non residential parent

4.2 Debrief the child and/or young person

4.3 Be diplomatic in responses to inappropriate behaviour. Direct conversations to parents appropriate responsibilities

4.4 Be aware of the relationship issues between the parents and refer where necessary

4.5 Respond to any issues of a legal nature according to organisation policy and legislative requirements

4.6 Discuss with the parents the ramifications if behaviours have breached the Service Level Agreement

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include:

Understanding reactions of children experiencing re victimisation and who are affected by trauma

Working knowledge of the intentions of the Shared Parenting provisions of the Family Law Act and practices that will support families to achieve these goals where appropriate

Awareness and understanding of the implications of confidentiality policy and procedures and necessary limitations of confidentiality in cases of harm or abuse

Awareness of occupational health and safety (OHS) policy and procedures in the context of changeover

Relevant legislation that impacts on the provision of changeover and facilitated contact including, Child Protection Legislation, Family Law Act, Domestic and Family Violence Laws within the jurisdiction of the service provision

Factors affecting family dynamics and particularly children, with incidents or history of high levels of parental conflict, violence or abuse

Understanding the impact of high conflict in post separation involving children

Awareness of adult and juvenile sexual offending behaviour types, cycles of offending behaviour and appropriate responses to allegations of offending behaviour in accordance with organisation policy and legislation

Understand child developmental norms at different ages and stages

Awareness of domestic and family violence cycle, indicators and appropriate responses

Awareness of family systems and how this is relevant to the role of contact worker in the development of relationships in extended and blended families

Working knowledge of separation anxiety and attachment theory, child development, loss and grief issues and family violence and how this is relevant to the role of contact worker in the changeover and contact process, particularly observing child's emotional reaction and interactions with carers/parents.

Awareness of case work practices and how to contribute to these process through documentation and consultation with senior staff or supervisors

Local support services available to clients needing external information, support or interventions

Cross cultural issues in child parent relationships

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:


empathy to parents/carers and children

non-judgement approaches and attitudes towards all clients

neutrality and impartiality when engaging in practices with both the resident and non resident parent/carer

age appropriate communication when working with young people and children, people with disabilities, cultural diversity

Record case notes, including recording only relevant information and objective information

Discriminate between what is factual observation and what is personal interpretations and subjective information

Write incident reports as required and in accordance with OHS policies of the organisation

Identify real and potential risks associated with developing relationships with high risk client groups

Communicate effectively with vulnerable or hostile parents and children in crisis using effective interpersonal skills and conflict resolution skills:

listening and understanding

speaking clearly and directly

negotiating responsively

persuading effectively

being appropriately assertive


Engage involuntary or resistant parents and children in planning for the future

Communicate effectively with children to ensure rapport is established and trust in the process of changeover is achieved and maintained

Use observational skills and interpret this information into objective recordings of client interactions which may inform the preparation of court reports

Use modelling and demonstrate cooperative behaviours

Model and implement appropriate boundaries for interacting with families

continued ...

Essential skills (contd):

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

Comply with codes of conduct of the organisation

Communicate in a cross cultural context with a diverse client group, promote access and equity to service users

Work with interpreters effectively

Create and maintain a child friendly environment

Apply data entry skills for input of funding services statistical information

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills.

Observation of workplace performance is essential for assessment of this unit.

Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over the required range of situations relevant to the workplace on more than one occasion.

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in community services should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues, in particular relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

In cases where the learner does not have the opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios

Assessment of this unit of competence will usually include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes

Where performance is not directly observed and/or is required to be demonstrated over a period of time and/or in a number of workplace settings, any evidence should be authenticated by colleagues, supervisors, clients or other appropriate persons

Method of assessment

Observation in the workplace

Written assignments/projects or questioning should be used to assess knowledge

Case study and scenario as a basis for discussion of issues and strategies to contribute to best practice.

The assessment environment should not disadvantage the candidate

Assessment practices should take into account any relevant language or cultural issues related to Aboriginality, gender or language barriers other than English

Where the candidate has a disability, reasonable adjustment may be applied during assessment

Language and literacy demands of the assessment task should not be higher than those of the work role

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Relationship dynamics may include but is not limited to:

Power imbalances and intimidation

Past or present family violence or abuse

Intergenerational issues of appropriate communication, behaviour management

Critical factors of substance misuse, abuse

Past or present issues of child abuse and neglect

Socioeconomics, financial, geography, isolation

Mental illness

Grief and loss

Attachment issues

Learned behavioural responses

Appropriate support and response options may include but are not limited to:

Facilitate referral to support services

Advocacy within the guidelines of the organisation

Provision of critical information about client rights, matters of legal nature, safety and essential care services

Planning processes

Mediation and/or other conflict management

Referral to counselling services

Document family relationship goals may include:

Case plans

File records

Case reviews or planning processes

Case reports

Model positive parenting may include:

Communication with children

Seeking clarification on what the child wants to have happen, how they think this might happen, how they feel about the situation, seeking understanding form the child's perspective any changes that might assist with any contact refusal

Encouraging and respecting children's views and ideas

Appropriate management of child behaviour

Appropriate content for discussion with children

Expressing feelings and emotions

Activate referrals may include referring to support services including:


Income support

Domestic violence support services

Recreational and support groups


Child support

Family relationship centres

Men's help services

Cultural support services

Family focused specialist groups


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable