Implementing a family-inclusive practice model in youth mental health services in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • AIM:A brief family-inclusive practice model, single session family consultation (SSFC), was introduced at 4 youth mental health service sites to determine the extent to which the model could be implemented in this context and its acceptability as a means of engaging families of young people. METHODS:Within an action research paradigm, both quantitative and qualitative measures were used for this implementation project with the former reported here. There were 2 components: (1) evaluation of the experiences of young people and their families and (2) evaluation of the extent of implementation of SSFC. Quantitative data were analysed descriptively (item scores, range and any changes over time). RESULTS:Twenty practitioners who were trained and supported in the use of SSFC participated in the 6-month implementation evaluation. In 6 months, 131 SSFC sessions were conducted across the 4 sites and the young people and their families were very satisfied with sessions (overall mean = 5.2, range = 0-6). Six months post-training, there were statistically significant improvements in the practitioners' confidence in providing family interventions (mean improvement = -0.47 (95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.91, -0.04), P = .035) and familiarity with approaches to working with families (mean improvement = -0.61 (95% CI = -1.13, -0.10, P = .023). Practitioners perceived significant improvement in organizational support for working with families. CONCLUSIONS:SSFC was acceptable to clients and their families, was adopted by practitioners and was successfully implemented in the participating sites. This suggests that SSFC, when appropriately implemented, is useful to engage families in the treatment of young people facing mental health issues.

publication date

  • 2019