Rhoda Emlyn-Jones and I have known each other for over twenty years, during which time I have come to value her font of knowledge. It is therefore a real pleasure to have some of Rhoda’s thoughts on what makes a difference in enabling families to recover.
Our journey together began during the period of Rhoda and her colleagues developing the remarkable Option 2 Service in Wales. In this film, Rhoda describes how her own early familial experiences led her into working with those experiencing homelessness, alcohol and drug use, and other difficulties. She entered the social work field and ultimately ended up guiding a national approach to practice.
What is so remarkable about this interview, and in a sense what I continue to learn from Rhoda, is how the best of practice is built on the most obvious, but often neglected, cornerstones of honesty, respect and understanding. I feel our conversation really reflects some of our shared origins and a desire to translate these formative experiences into an explicit understanding of the need to work with individuals, families and communities, rather than any sense of doing unto, or prescribing, what one thinks is right for ‘someone else’.
Rhoda provides us with a clear message about the importance of valuing hope and strengths over negative sceptical stigmatisations. And how from this, it is possible to see and support genuine recovery journeys and articulate for whole system changes in practice thinking.
My conversation with Rhoda was edited into 11 films, totalling just over 79 minutes, the details of which can be found on her People Archive page on this website. On this page, you can also find a link to a Film Teaser for our conversation. On Wednesday, David will provide the details of the 30 short Themes films he edited from this conversation.
Rhoda Emlyn-Jones OBE has developed a wide range of services over the past 40 years that deliver proven effective interventions to thousands of people and families. Her successful Option 2 service works intensively with families where parents experience substance use difficulties and whose children are at risk of being taken into care. She supported the Welsh Government in the roll-out of Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS), which draws heavily on the learning from Option 2. Rhoda currently works in an independent capacity supporting health and social care organisations throughout the UK in strategic workforce development. She was awarded Welsh Woman of the Year in 2007, and an OBE in 2009 for services to disadvantaged families. Rhoda is Director of Achieving Sustainable Change (ASC Ltd.)