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FREDA Model: Five Principles of Relationship-Based Social Care

Holistic Psychosocial View

Q1. The FREDA Model is one of the four characteristics of the Relationship Based Social Care Work.

A) provide a summary of the the three other characteristics (1 sentence for each)

B) Describe each of the five principles of FREDA (Total word count 100-200 words)


Holistic Psychosocial View

  • People are complex and all relationships are unique
  • We can learn about people by listening to their ‘story’
  • RBSCW Approach accepts that people influenced both by the internal world of feelings, emotions and behaviours, and also by the external world, including their past experiences and how they are treated by society, policy and the people around them (Wilson et al. 2011).
  • Embodiment of both the worker and the service user in the shared space of practice; we work and live together. ‘Head, heart and hands signifies this holistic approach’ (See BID Model)

Case Study 1


Keith was born into a large family ‘that suffered physically, socially and psychologically through domestic violence and alcoholism’ (King 2014: 37). Keith's parents were loving when alcohol was not involved, and he learned to read their mood and level of intoxication by their body language and dress. Keith had a reputation in school and local community as a thief (explained in his chapter) and spent large amounts of time without adult supervision or care.

Fenton (2014: 48-49) described Keith’s focusing on the positives in his relationship with Maurice and with his mother, as Keith's way of “distinguishing the love from the harm”. Maurice understood Keith’s need to ‘act in socially unacceptable ways’ as a response to childhood trauma and a need to survive. Keith presented with a ‘range of complex and challenging behaviours’, which Maurice understood as communicating trauma and he responded with kindness, care, patience and trust, which had an emotional and long-lasting impact on Keith.


Case Study 2


Keith noted how Maurice ‘made a massive impression’ on his life (King 2014: 40) and that he knew he could trust him because he experienced equality when Maurice ‘always stood up and advocated for me’. Keith experienced respect when Maurice showed genuine interest in him and his needs. Keith experienced fairness, dignity and autonomy when he felt heard, listened to and nurtured by Maurice. Also, when the manager of the unit genuinely apologised to him for making a mistake in the way she had spoken to him.


Case Study 3


When Keith entered residential care, he was introduced to the man (Maurice) who would become his key worker. Keith recognised him immediately as the man he had observed playing naturally with another child and noted he was kind and caring; he felt he could trust him. Maurice was using his authentic self (Brown 2016) in his play and care, which is a part of his relationship with the children in his care. Maurice described this as a ‘willingness to show vulnerability and appropriately admit mistakes’ and to show ‘unconditional positive regard’ (Fenton 2014: 50-2). Maurice made sure that Keith knew that he liked him and enjoyed spending time with him and was invested in their relationship. Keith experienced this as trust.


Relationship is the Centre of Practice


  • RBSCWis the centre of all interventions in planned practice, and the service user is the centre of everything.
  • Workers provide care and nurturing, demonstrate meaning and create meaningful moments (Digney & Smart 2014) and establish trust by being genuine and consistent (Howard & Lyons 2014).
  • Social care work involves getting to know a person and sharing your time, experience, knowledge, humour, values, feelings and emotions with them.
  • During the time you spend with the service user, information is being communicated, non-verbal and/or verbal, from you and between you.
  • By viewing the relationship as the centre of practice, organisations will value and support the time needed to develop a relationship.

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