Centre will support diverse members of local community and workers in area, offering individual help as well as couples therapy
Tavistock Relationships staff involved in crafting revolutionary new approach to shaping and delivering services
Rochdale Council has published a ‘relationships manifesto’ – i.e. a borough-wide strategy to support relationships.
Tavistock Relationships’ Head of Strategy, Honor Rhodes, is credited in the document for her help in producing it, along with Honor and Tavistock Relationships, the Relationships Alliance and Relate are mentioned too.
The document represents the culmination of a period of work where the Council totally reconsidered how it approached adult and children’s services, framing it in the the context of what they did to support relationships.
Why? Because in the words of the authors: ”Everybody has the right to benefit from good quality relationships at home, in education, at work and in the community. People thrive when their relationships are strong and positive.”
This manifesto became a “call to action which seeks to set a fresh approach to supporting good quality relationships for everyone. It sets out a bold, pioneering ambition for everyone who lives, works, studies and volunteers.”
Part of the way of achieving this is via a comprehensive training package The manifesto says:
“All frontline practitioners delivering public services should receive training about family relationships support so that they are able to recognise that good relationships are an asset; identify relationship distress; offer initial support and sign-post to relevant other support; screen and risk assess for domestic abuse/child parent violence and abuse.”.
It goes on to lay out how this will be done:
“This should take into account couple, family, social and workplace relationships. Using the people, buildings and resources we already have, we will use an asset-based approach to ensure all staff and volunteers, in any service, are trained in the appropriate responses to relationship distress disclosures and have key knowledge of interventions and services that can help. We will ensure that everybody has access to the right training and toolkits wherever they work or volunteer in the Rochdale borough”.
It also discusses the range of help that people might receive: “Whilst the core of the offer will draw upon the range of evidence–based programmes, particularly those supported by the DWP and EIF, we will also support and pilot innovative approaches informed by good practice principles, that will enable us to ‘do things differently’ and test new ways of working”.
This represents quite a fundamental moment, the kind of new and exciting, relationship-centred approach that Tavistock Relationships has been calling for.
We urge other boroughs to look at the Rochdale way and hope many more will follow suit.
You can read more about our policy work here.