Family-centred services

We aim to make our service family centred

We are a centre founded by families for families, therefore as an organisation we aim to keep families at the heart of everything we do. Family-centred service is also a researched philosophy of service provision that we aim to follow. Being family centred has been shown to reduce families' stress and improve outcomes for children.

Family Partnership Model, Forbes and Carroll 2018 adapted from Carroll Forbes and Parkinson 2014

Family Partnership Model, Forbes and Carroll 2018 adapted from Carroll Forbes and Parkinson 2014

“Family-centred service (FCS) is a philosophy, and an approach to service provision, that aims to deliver services to children with special needs while focusing on the priorities of the entire family. It is an evidence-based approach to practice that has been tried and approved by countless families. FCS recognizes that: (i) each family is unique; (ii) the family is a constant presence in the child’s life; and (iii) parents are the experts on the child’s abilities and needs. This creates an environment where the centre of attention is directed toward the individual strengths and needs of each unique family.

Specifically, FCS is based on three main pillars:

  1. Parents know their children best, and want the best for them, so each family should have the ultimate responsibility and decision-making for the care of their children. This means that the healthcare provider should:

    • Inform and advise parents in their decision-making to help them identify their needs and priorities
    • Collaborate with parents at all levels (care of the individual child, implementation and evaluation of programs, and formation of larger scale policies)
    • Provide accessible services and share complete information on an ongoing basis

  2. Each family is different and unique, so they should be treated with respect and understanding as individuals. This means that the healthcare provider should:

    • Listen and respect the values and wishes of families and support their decisions
    • Be flexible in providing individualised services when needed
    • Be aware of and accept diversity in families (racial, ethnic, cultural, and socio-economic)

  3. A supportive family and community are needed for optimal child functioning, so the wellbeing and involvement of all family members should be considered. This means that the healthcare provider should:
    • Provide an environment where participation of all family members is welcomed
    • Encourage family-to-family and community help to create support structures
    • Recognise and build on strengths of the family and children

By following the elements of these pillars, healthcare providers can build a meaningful long-term relationship with families. This allows families to:

  • Receive appropriate information to be the ultimate decision-maker for their issues
  • Have their needs and concerns considered while feeling supported by the system
  • Create solutions that use their own resources and most effectively address their issues”

(Extract from IAACD Knowledge Hub)

We know we don’t always get this right but it is how we aim to work. Please let us know if you see ways we could improve our Family-centred service, by emailing our Centre Director, Jenny Carroll at

How we have helped in Wales


Family support appointments took place in 2022-2023


Children from across Wales have been treated during 2022-2023


The number of sessions of specialist therapy we delivered in 2022-2023

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Noah's story

After our first therapy session, I left Cerebral Palsy Cymru’s children’s centre with something nobody had previously dared give me for my little boy. I left with hope.

- Leah, Noah's mum

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Ben's story

We left that initial therapy session on an absolute high and haven’t looked back since!

- Alison, Ben's mum

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Charlotte's blog

Hi, my name is Charlotte and I have just turned 15. I have recently taken part in Cerebral Palsy Cymru's 'Independent Living Skills Programme' and I would love to share my experience of the project with you. 

- Independent Living Skills 2021

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Cora's story

From that day we feel we have been part of the Cerebral Palsy Cymru family, and we have not looked back.

- Family story

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a girl in a park with her mum

Aoife's Story

Having virtual sessions opened up a new avenue of skill-building for Aoife

- Family story

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