12 reasons families do not want to cooperate with professionals

When parents do not recognise that there is a problem or deny that there is any cause for concern, working with families can be especially challenging. There is a variety of reasons for this, including: 

1. They do not want their privacy invaded. 
2. They have something to hide. 
3. They refuse to believe they have a problem. 
4. They resent outside interference. 
5. There are cultural differences. 
6. Parents lack understanding about what is being expected of them. 
7. They have poor previous experience of professional involvement. 
8. They resent staff changes. 
9. They dislike or fear of authority figures.
10. Parents fear their children will be taken away. 
11. They fear being judged to be poor parents because of substance misuse or mental health problems. 
12. They feel they have nothing to lose (e.g. where the children have already been removed).

(Source: Working with Uncooperative Families)

To explore more reasons for uncooperativeness, discuss strategies for working with such families and share your own experiences and techniques for more positive working relationships join our free webinar “Working with families who do not see the problem” on July 9th at 10am CET.  


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Child Hub selection: 5 most popular resources on working with families

28 Feb 2012

Ruth Pearson, a teacher in social work at the University of Sheffield and a trainer in children protection and social care field, discusses in the video the situation of hostile avoidant families. She suggests how to approach this kind of cases and...

01 Nov 2013

This guide has been the product of the transnational project “Roma Families Get Involved: transnational methodology for working with Roma families towards their children´s success in education”. The involvement of the family in the education of...

03 Jul 2015

These elearning resources are freely available to all. They provide audio, video and interactive technology to assist in exploring parental substance misuse, its effects on children and parenting capacity and the implications for social work...

13 May 2014

This 5-minute video depicts a theory of change from the Frontiers of Innovation community for achieving breakthrough outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It describes the need to focus on building the capabilities of caregivers and...

01 Mar 2015

This is a part of  Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board Procedures Manual which reviews work with hostile families and provides guidance to professionals  approaching families unwilling to cooperate. There are discussed reasons for...

Do you have questions on working with uncooperative families?

Feel free to ask your questions on the webinar page (make sure you are logged in first). They will be answered by Stephanie Delaney, an expert with 20+ years of experience in child protection, development rights and welfare, during the webinar “Working with families who do not see the problem” on July 9th at 10am CET.