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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Throughout the past several decades the economic and cultural conditions of the American family have changed dramatically. These changing family dynamics create challenges for service providers to work with families in a way that supports their healthy functioning and respects their values. The presence of multiple risk factors is generally understood to create discontinuities in interaction rules between home and community environments and contribute to challenges in assuring positive family functioning. Within this chapter, we discuss the characteristics of healthy children and families and how the parent—child relationship can serve as a protective factor for young children at risk. Family-centered positive psychology (FCPP) recognizes the family as a constant in the child's life and strives to support both child well-being and healthy family functioning. Throughout this chapter, families and children are discussed from a strengths-based approach that recognizes the assets and strengths present within the family rather than the deficits or limitations. Family-centered services (FCSs) are a framework for service delivery that is based on the principles of FCPP. In FCSs, service providers strive to create a context within which families may become empowered; assist family members to identify their unique needs and acquire skills and competencies; and identify social networks to promote positive outcomes for the child and family. In this chapter, we describe the primary principles of family-centered care, discuss implications for practice, describe one model of family-centered care that illustrates FCS in practice, and discuss future research directions for FCPP.

Keywords: child well-being, conjoint behavioral consultation, family-centered services, parent—child relationship, positive psychology

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