LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire

Working with Resistant Families / Disguised Compliance

What do we mean by the term resistant families and disguised compliance?

There is considerable evidence that poor parenting, neglect, emotional abuse and attachment difficulties, domestic abuse, substance misuse, mental health problems and learning disability undermine parenting capability and increase the likelihood of significant harm, particularly when they occur in combination.

We also know that parenting does not take place in isolation. Parents are also influenced by difficulties within the wider environment and family, such as poor housing, poverty and unemployment that make parenting more challenging and increase the likelihood that problems will arise.

There is also an extensive and growing evidence base showing how negative experiences in childhood may have a long term impact on children’s physical, cognitive, social, emotional and behavioural development and, sometimes, this can last a lifetime.

Early help is vital in offering children support which will improve their outcomes and this is needed as soon as problems emerge but sometimes, that support is resisted by families. Early help professionals need a range of strategies to overcome that resistance and to engage families in effective early help.

You will also find a guide to working with 'Resistant Families' and 'Disguised Compliance' that offer some hints and tips for you in your day to day practice.

NSCP Procedure

Access the Working with Uncooperative Families Practice Guidance for more details on working with uncooperative families.

Last updated: 12 July 2023

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