About the GIZ-methodology

Why the GIZ-methodology?


Families want to decide for themselves

Parents and children no longer want to be talked about by professionals in education, health and welfare. And they no longer want to feel judged and told what’s best for them by people who seem to pay little attention to their own knowledge, values and priorities. 


Professionals want to use their expertise

Similarly, professionals often feel limited by traditional protocols that leave little room for their own and families’ expertise and (self-) compassion. They want to be able to respond expertly and uniquely to unique individuals


The GIZ-methodology empowers both families and professionals

Professionals trained in the GIZ-methodology find they have room to empower families to:

  • gauge for themselves how well a specific child is developing physically, mentally, emotionally and socially;

  • understand what each child needs to cope with its age-related and individual challenges;

  • decide with the professionals how they and others can help their family to thrive.


This happens within an authentic, solution-focussed dialogue, which also gives professionals room to make use of their expertise.

What is de GIZ-methodology and how does it work?


Educative, family-friendly decision-making 

The GIZ-methodology is an educative, family-friendly decision-making tool that enables professionals and families to talk together constructively about how a specific child is developing and to reach consensus on the most appropriate family support.


What does 'GIZ' stand for?

GIZ stands for 'Gezamenlijk Inschatting van Zorgbehoeften'. This translates as 'joint assessment of support needs'. Professionals trained in the GIZ-methodology use age-appropriate coloured schemes and specific solution-focussed communication techniques which ensure that families can actively participate in the decision-making process.


Cost-effective tailored care

By ensuring that everyone can understand what's going on and can listen to each other respectfully within a clear, educative structure, the GIZ-methodology enables families and professionals to combine their expertise to decide what's important for a specific child. The result? Cost-effective, tailored care. 

The GIZ-methodology encourages families to forgo services they don’t need and accept help when they really need it. Parents and adolescents often leave my GIZ-sessions beaming!

Pediatric doctor

GGD Leiden

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Two weeks ago, a vulnerable mother broke down as she was filling in the Pyramid of Strength scheme. She said she felt overwhelmed seeing just how well she was doing bringing up her child. Time and time again I see the GIZ-methodology boosting my clients’ resilience and motivation.

Cathelijne Lodder

Family coach, Vivenz Zorggroep

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What can the GIZ-methodology mean for families? 
2.000+ professionals trained!

More than 2000 professionals working preventively and curatively with children from 0-23 years old are now successfully using the GIZ-methodology throughout the Netherlands

Would you like to know more about the Childrearing Matters' GIZ-methodology trainings? Please click here for the course overview:



Alternatively, for more personalised information, please do not hesitate to contact me via my contact page ​.

Backed by independent research


Research carried out by the University of Leiden within the context of the Academic Workplace North South-Holland has confirmed that the  GIZ-methodology does indeed promote authentic dialogues in which parents, children and professionals from all relevant disciplines feel heard, understood and respected.


All parties are able to 'speak the same language' and make solution-focused decisions together.

Acclaim for the GIZ-methodology

  • 2014: nominated for National Youth Care Awards Jury Prize

  • 2015: recommended in the Dutch guideline on family-friendly decision-making "Samen met ouders en jeugdige beslissen over passende hulp", published jointly by the professional associations for educationalists, pedagogues, social workers and psychologists (respectively, NVO, BPSW and NIP)

  • 2015: recommended by the professional association for children's doctors and nurses (NCJ) for national implementation within the Dutch preventive public healthcare system .

The GIZ-methodology is super cool! It reminds me what I can do myself to stay happy and healthy.


12-year-old dealing with autism

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I came to the practice with chaos in my head. The GIZ-methodology helped me to see everything I'm doing right and has given me a new sense of direction."

Simone Keijsers

Mother, Leiden

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The GIZ-methodology has helped us to make our assessments and advice more flexible and family-friendly."

Annemiek Kropman

Manager an implementation coordinator, JGZ Kennemerland

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NVO-registered orthopedagogue
Developer GIZ-methodology 


Tel: + 31 6 204 204 64 

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© 2018 by Alison Sutton

Childrearing Matters Advice & Training
Kwaakhaven 10 
2341 NW Oegstgeest
KvK nummer 72243732