Strengthening Family & Community

Our Practice - Guiding Principles

Gateway Family Services acknowledges the following as the basis for its collaborative work with clients, community members, services, and communities.

Strength-based family centred practice informs all aspects of practice at GFS. This approach acknowledges that an emphasis on strengths and capacity rather than deficits is most likely to effect lasting change and build capacity for parents and families.

“A true strengths approach is one that governs the way we think about people and the way we go about our work on a daily basis. It is not an option to apply only to certain people or to particular parts of our practice. It is the basis for all actions and interactions.”

Morgan, S. (2004) Strengths-based practice. Openmind 126. (March/April) 16-17


These Strength Based principles underpin our work with

  • each other
  • the children, young people and families with whom we work
  • communities
  • other services


In our practice we.....

  • Respect the dignity of each person with whom we work and demonstrate this by being transparent, respectful and listening and communicating openly
  • Are committed to
    • empowering practices;
    • encouraging innovation and initiative;
    • fostering an environment which embraces challenges and positively reflects on lessons learned;
    • demonstrating a strengths-based culture in the language we use and our interactions within the agency, with families, and the community
  • Believe that each child/young person has the right to live in safety and have their wellbeing supported and safeguarded; and we share honestly and respectfully our concerns about safety.
  • Focus on the personal/family/community strengths to achieve goals; and assume that each person/family/community has competencies which they can apply to the problems that they are facing.
  • reflect honestly with ourselves about how we are thinking about the work and/or the family, our frustrations and the challenges;
  • Are more interested in what is working and making that happen more often than focusing on what is not working.
  • Believe that people are more motivated when they are seen as competent and having power.
  • Assume that each person/family has competencies which they can apply to the problems that they are facing and that they are or can be the experts in their own lives.

While our work and organisation is embedded in strength based principles we operate within the therapeutic Solution Focused Brief Therapy Model. This work is founded on the work of Steve de Shazer and Insoo Kim Berg.

Gateway encourages, supports & respects diversity in families & communities. Our doors are open to everyone.
We acknowledge the Gundungurra and Darug people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live and work and we pay our respects to their Elders, both past and present.

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Gateway Family Services is committed to building a stronger community through helping to build stronger families.