Element 1: Respect and Trust

Element 1: Respect and Trust

Respect is a willingness to show consideration or appreciation towards another, leading to trust; a hopeful expectation of something. (Merriam-Webster, 2010). Trust is vital to building a strong partnership and is built on mutual understanding.


Take a few minutes to think about and list some of the things you do regularly to show respect and to build trust with families.

There are many things consultants may do regularly in their practice to show respect to families. Reflect on these common practices below and rate how often you use each of them.

Common Practices to Show Respect to Families

Practice Always Sometimes Not Yet
Explaining your role, including your background and experience, and their role clearly to the family and encouraging questions
Gaining consent prior to implementing any services
Ensuring all information is held confidential Use names when referring to their child, family members and caregivers.
Working with logistical constraints (e.g., work schedules, transportation)
Showing up when you say you will, prepared for the visit or meeting
Being an active listener
Keeping the family in the loop through home visits, phone calls and/or e-mails
Not discussing important aspects around a child’s progress without the family present

Take time to celebrate your use of respectful practices with families. For those that might not be happening regularly or not happening yet, use the list above to help remind you of practices that you want to improve on.

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This product was developed [in part] under grant number 1H79SM082070-01 from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The views, policies and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of SAMHSA or HHS.