It is important to have this session co-facilitated by a family member and a service provider so both viewpoints can be represented. Family and service provider perspectives are important in providing personal examples to augment this session.
This is a long session, so facilitators might plan a break between major activities. Facilitators should stay attuned to participants’ comments and support careful consideration for and support of family priorities and concerns.
Our goal is to build each family’s capacity for informed decision-making, since the family will be making decisions for their child for many years. The service provider’s role is to support the family, not to be the sole director of services: to act as a “guide on the side” rather than a “sage on the stage.” The service provider’s knowledge should be used in collaboration with the family’s. Service providers and families should recognize family members as the experts on their child and family — no matter what their experience or background.