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Professional skills in family support: A systematic review

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Family support encompasses a wide variety of professionals, sectors, and intervention paradigms that make it difficult to systematize and standardize the skills needed by the family support workforce. The present study aimed to describe the relevant skills of professionals, organize the main skills into different categories, and contribute to the development of intervention standardization guidelines in the field of family support. So, a systematic literature review was conducted following the PRISMA guidelines. The search was carried out in five databases and included the analysis of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods studies, and all studies were qualitatively assessed. Of the initial 3334 articles identified, 59 studies were included, and four categories were identified: professionals’ qualities, essential skills common to all professions and contexts, specific knowledge, and theoretical approaches necessary for family support. Most of the studies were from the United Kingdom, qualitative, published in the last 10 years, used small samples, and included a specific group of professionals. The included studies did not specify whether some skills or characteristics were considered more effective in practice, and they had bias issues related to social desirability. The implications for family support practice are discussed, as well as the gaps to be covered in future studies.



Professional skills Family support Systematic review PRISMA


Social Sciences 13 (3): 176 (2024)

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