Family-centred early intervention: Comparing practitioners' actual and desired practices

Simón García-Ventura, Joana Maria Mas, Anna Balcells-Balcells, Climent Giné

    Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: In Spain, as in other countries, there has been a deep and intense process of change towards the adoption and use of family-centred practices (FCPs) on early intervention (EI). Despite that several international organizations have recommended FCPs be embedded in EI services, researchers on this field have highlighted a recommendation–implementation gap, as well as the need to point investigation on practitioners and intervention variables involved. Consequently, our goals were to describe and compare the practitioners' appraisals on actual and desired practices in Spain and to explore the relationships between practitioners and intervention characteristics and the use of recommended practices. Methods: A survey including practitioner and intervention characteristics measures was used to obtain data needed. The actual and desired practices were explored through the Family Orientation of Community and Agency Services Scale. The participants were 119 EI Spanish practitioners whose programmes were in the first stages of different FCP implementation projects. Results: Practitioners reported actual practices to be less family centred than they would like, moderately in line with FCP. They reported desired practices as quite close to recommended practices. Intervention characteristics were related to actual practices, whereas practitioner characteristics were not. Conclusions: The results suggest that the recommendation–implementation gap still exists in our context, as well as in other countries. Intervention characteristics seem to be one of the key elements significantly influencing actual practices, though additional research is needed. A comprehensive framework for implementation is needed to bridge the gap between recommendation practices and the use of these practices.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)218-227
    Number of pages10
    JournalChild: Care, Health and Development
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


    • actual and desired practices
    • early intervention
    • family-centred practices
    • implementation
    • practitioners' appraisals
    • recommended practices


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