A partnership is a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility for the achievement of a specified goal. Partnerships have been used as successful models in many disciplines. In health care, evidence has shown that strong doctor-patient relationships improve patient and family health outcomes. Key to such partnerships are the following principles:
- Families and professionals work together in the best interest of the child and the family. As the child grows, s/he assumes a partnership role.
- Everyone respects the skills and expertise brought to the relationship.
- Trust is acknowledged as fundamental.
- Communication and information sharing are open and objective.
- Participants make decisions together.
- There is a willingness to negotiate.