Subsequent to the initial engaging, orienting, and negotiating phase, and for caregivers who are willing to engage beyond receiving information, ongoing work will be needed to build a strong collaborative working relationship and motivate their continued efforts to support their young person in reaching their goals.

The aims are to:

  • Encourage the parent or caregiver to engage as an active helper, assisting the young person to reach their goals
  • Develop a more positive attitude about their adolescent that eliminates blaming anyone for current problems
  • Instill motivation to continue working with the practitioner

Ideally this work should be pursued in a face-to-face meeting with the caregiver in the absence of the young person. The focus at this stage is on the caregiver.

Let the caregiver have the opportunity to discuss his or her feelings about the family situation, whilst keeping the interaction positive.

Empathise with the caregiver’s concerns, but quickly direct attention to what needs to be done now.

Identify the caregiver’s reinforcers or the reasons why they want the young person to change. What positive benefits does the caregiver perceive will flow for the young person, and for him or herself personally? Reminding the caregiver of these reinforcers will help maintain motivation, and will be useful later when negotiating shared goals for behaviour change involving the caregiver and the young person,

Share general information from your work with other families, affirming that you or the service can help the family learn techniques that have helped other families in similar situations (Godley et al., 2001; p141-142).

Discuss barriers that caregivers may face in continuing to be actively involved.

Reinforce the value of the caregiver making time available to attend appointments and let him or her know that you understand it may be difficult to do so. 

Collaborating and building motivation should be pursued actively whenever the need and opportunity arises.

NOTE: This element is derived from A-CRA as described by  (Godley et al., 2001).