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Collaborative Helping Maps: A Tool to Guide Thinking and Action in Family-Centered Services

This article highlights “disciplined improvisation” as a metaphor for communitybased work with multi-stressed families. It introduces Collaborative Helping maps as a tool that both helps workers think their way through complex situations with families and provides a structure to support constructive conversations between workers and families about challenging situations. The article illustrates this map through a clinical vignette and uses interviews with workers to highlight ways in which the map can both enhance worker thinking and support constructive conversations between workers and families about problems that could easily divide them and lead to polarization and escalating tension.