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PARENTS: SOME DO’S AND DON’TS FOR IMPROVING PARENT/PROVIDER RELATIONSHIPS

By BARBARA J. GOFF, Ed.D

DO

  • Say positive things to the staff—your support means more than you can imagine
  • Attend your child’s planning meetings
  • Coordinate your child’s home visits with the staff so they can plan house activities accordingly
  • Ask for the program’s policies and procedures in writing and discuss any questions or concerns up front
  • Follow-up with staff when your child tells you about something terrible that happened to him or her at the program
  • Follow the communication chain—creates good faith with the staff (and doesn’t preclude you from going straight to the top when you really need to)
  • Ask questions
  • Adhere to program guidelines regarding calling and visiting
  • Work together to establish balanced and realistic expectations

DON’T

  • Blame, threaten, or yell at direct service staff—bring your concerns to the appropriate supervisor
  • Question a decision made by a staff person in front of your child or other program participants
  • Do your child’s households chores for him/her
  • Forgo his diet plan entirely during home visits
  • Believe that absolutely every behavior issue that arises is a result of PWS and isn’t subject to change (after all-do we really know for sure?)
  • Believe everything you hear from a staff person about an incident-check it out with a supervisor who usually has the bigger and more complete picture
  • Give cash or credit cards directly to your child (and worse yet, neglect to tell staff about it!)
  • Make assumptions

FINALLY

  • Don’t expect that any program can provide all that you provide as a loving parent, but do acknowledge what your child gains by being in a work or residential program. There are trade-offs and most are very worthwhile.

edited: 02/09/2012

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