Collecting feedback as a tool to reduce care paralysis: something for family group conferencing coordinators?
John Wiley and Sons
School of Nursing and Midwifery
Family group conferencing (FGC) coordinators in public mental healthcare are confronted with clients who have little faith in professionals and organizations, who hold off decisions in their family life, who avoid care and who sometimes behave in a hostile manner. A lack of initiative to deal with their situation is not only reserved for clients – all bystanders, including professionals, can suffer from it. The multiplicity and severity of the client's problems lead to a situation wherein everyone involved waits for the initiative of the other. The independence of the FGC coordinator – a fellow citizen, who is free of organizational loyalties and comes to assist other citizens in establishing a plan – seems to work well with the client group of the public mental healthcare. However, the coordinator cannot always prevent deferral or failure of conferences. Drawing on empirical and theoretical findings, this paper considers the possibility of collecting feedback as a way to contribute positively to the alliance between FGC coordinators and those for whom a conference is deployed. We highlight findings from three case studies that centred on multiproblem families. The findings indicate the importance of feedback theory for FGC coordinators in enhancing trust and engagement.