Family engagement and compassion fatigue in alternative provision
AbstractIn a sector largely ignored in policy and the public imagination, Alternative Provision works to care for and educate children for whom mainstream schooling does not work. Central to their mission is the engagement of families, often seen as both the cause of their child’s difficulties and the solution to their successful educational re-engagement. Practitioners within Alternative Provision work within sophisticated strategies of family engagement, from regular communication to the more intensive interventions of home visits, supporting families with everything from filling in forms to cleaning, from managing outbursts to sourcing furniture. With the majority of families living within contexts of deprivation, many have life histories containing trauma, trauma that Alternative Provision Practitioners listen to, confront and, often, internalise, risking ‘compassion fatigue’. This article focuses on the potential for compassion fatigue within family engagement in Alternative Provision, beginning with the impact on practitioners. It then discusses the role of leadership in building an assemblage of organisation interventions to both mitigate compassion fatigue and maximise ‘compassion satisfaction’, the fulfilment that comes from empathic work. Finally, it examines how compassion satisfaction could mitigate the deleterious impact of vicarious trauma.
CitationPage, D. (2021) Family engagement and compassion fatigue in alternative provision, International Journal of Inclusive Education, DOI: 10.1080/13603116.2021.1938713
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Description© 2021 The Author. Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an open access article available under a Creative Commons licence. The published version can be accessed at the following link on the publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2021.1938713
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/