Practice to make a difference.

Collaborative Helping: A Strengths Framework for Home-Based Services

An interdisciplinary framework for sustainable helping through cross-system collaboration

This hands-on resource provides clear, practical guidance for supportive service professionals working in a home-based environment. Drawing on best practices from a range of disciplines, this book provides a clear map for dealing with the complex and often ambiguous situations that arise with individuals and families, with applications extending to supervision and organizational change. Readers gain the advice and insight of real-world frontline helpers, as well as those who receive care, highlighting new ways to approach the work and re-think previous conceptualizations of problems and strengths. Helping efforts are organized around a shared, forward-thinking vision that anticipates obstacles and draws on existing and potential supports in developing a collaborative plan of action.

 The book begins with stories that illustrate core concepts and context, presenting a number of useful ideas that can reorient behavioural services while outlining a principle-based practice framework to help workers stay grounded and focused. Problems are addressed, and strength-based work is expanded into richer conversations about strengths in the context of intention and purpose, value and belief, hopes, dreams, and commitments. Topics include:

  • Contextual guidance with helping maps
  • Engaging people and re-thinking problems and strengths
  • Dilemmas in home and community services
  • Sustainable helping through collaboration and support

 A strong collaboration between natural networks, communities, and trained professionals across systems creates an effective helping endeavour. Ensuring sustainability may involve promoting systems change, and building institutional supports for specific supervisory, management, and organizational practices. Collaborative Helping provides a framework for organizing these efforts into a coherent whole, serving the needs of supportive services workers across sectors.


  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction xi
  • About the Authors
  • Chapter 1 Helping: What, How, and Why 1
  • Chapter 2 Cornerstones of Collaborative Helping 23
  • Chapter 3 A Map to Guide Helping Efforts 49
  • Chapter 4 Collaborative Helping Maps in Different Contexts 69
  • Chapter 5 Engaging People to Envision New Lives 99
  • Chapter 6 Rethinking Problems and Strengths 125
  • Chapter 7 Dilemmas in Home and Community Services 151
  • Chapter 8 Sustainable Helping 177
  • References 203
  • Index 209

 Author Bio:

William Madsen, PhD, is an internationally-renowned consultant in the fields of family therapy and social work. He is the author of Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families, a social work text used widely by public agencies and graduate programs. In 2013, he was awarded the Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy, Theory, and Practice award by the American Family Therapy Academy.

Kevin Gillespie, MHSA, RN, is the Executive Director of Integrated Services and the founding director of Blue Sky Alliance of Appalachian Ohio. He has more than 30 years of experience combining direct service, system development, and administration. His work focuses on innovative service solutions for public service systems and in alliance with therapeutic, housing, and employment professionals.

Collaborative Helping: A Strengths Framework for Home-Based Services

Author: Madsen, Gillespie

$74.95 Add to Cart

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