Relational thinking provides a framework to define the goals of public services in terms of healthy communities and a healthy society. It also provides the key to achieving those goals in building strong relationships within communities, amongst professionals and between agencies.
In 2003, Relationships Foundation launched an ongoing programme of work on public service reform involving a high-level group of policy makers and practitioners. The aim is to examine where relationships are under pressure and how relational thinking might lead to new ways of working. Previous research has demonstrated the potential of inter-agency co-operation in dealing with the effects of relational breakdown.
Our separate sections on relational health care and relational justice give details of specific projects which belong to this programme of work. One of our recent projects, in collaboration with Whole Systems Partnership has been to evaluate some of the relational implications of moves towards self-directed support. This draws on an extensive programme of work on partnership, collaboration and interprofessional relationships in health and social care. Our most recent project, in collaboration with Relational Research, is the ‘Relational Schools‘ Project.