12. Compassionate Engagement with Families & Other Caregivers


“Engagement is often viewed as synonymous with involvement. Involvement in services is important, but real engagement goes beyond that. Families can be involved and compliant without being engaged. Engagement is motivating and empowering families to recognize their own needs, strengths and resources and to take an active role in changing things for the better. Engagement is what keeps families working in the sometimes slow process of positive change” –Sue Steib (2004).


Additional Resources

Family members often become caregivers outside of the health care setting, and offering support is essential. The Schwartz Center offers various links to resources to help family caregivers.

The article “Few hospitals dedicate space for family caregivers, but that could change” discusses supporting family caregivers through dedicated spaces and other resources, and the importance of family caregiver well-being on client well-being.

The core concepts of Patient- and Family-Centered Care are used widely in efforts to better engage families in the delivery of care. To learn more about incorporating such an approach into your work in order to better engage with families consider visiting the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care website.