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A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 1 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series.

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Presentation on theme: "A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 1 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 1 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children A Strength-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare To access the audio, please call: TOLL FREE: ACCESS CODE: #

2 Presented By: Valerie B. Shapiro, Berkeley Social Welfare Heidi Sims, SCAN (Stop Child Abuse & Neglect) California Social Work Education Center Research and Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare

3 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 3 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children

4 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 4 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Additional Acknowledgements Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC): Linda Likins, Jennifer Fleming, Karen Cairone, Deb Alleyne, & Debi Mahler. Stop Child Abuse & Neglect (SCAN), Inc.: Rachel Tobin-Smith, Rob Pettibone, Bobbie Golani, Sarah McClure, & a generous Anonymous Donor. The staff, parents, and children at SCAN Inc. in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Ireland Home-Based Services in Evansville, Indiana who were involved in this project.

5 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 5 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Prevalence Nearly three and a half million allegations of child abuse, involving over six million children, are made in the United States annually (US DHHS, 2012) An average of four children per day die in the US due to abuse and neglect, which is estimated to be the worst fatality record of any wealthy nation (Gilbert et al., 2009)

6 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 6 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Consequences Increased likelihood of mental, emotional, and behavioral problems, developmental delays, academic difficulties, and criminal justice system involvement The economic consequences that result from child abuse and neglect cost American taxpayers $124 billion annually (Fang, Brown, Florence & Mercy, 2012)

7 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 7 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Dual System Aims US child protection system was initially designed to manage risk by identifying and removing threats to physical and emotional safety Recent emphasis on family preservation has complicated and expanded the system aims to include the broader goal of child welfare

8 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 8 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Strength-Based Services (Rapp, Saleebey, & Sullivan, 2005) goal-oriented systematically assess strengths view the environment as an important resource create plans that leverage family / environmental strength foster hope provide meaningful choices in the provision of services

9 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 9 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children The failure to articulate specific practice models creates the gap between child welfare workers’ familiarity with the concepts of strengths-based practice and the provision of strengths-based services

10 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 10 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Supervised Visitation A safe environment for parenting time An opportunity to document court order compliance and parent / child interactions to inform reunification decisions Maintaining / growing child–caregiver relationships, and pursuing / recognizing caregiver skill acquisition

11 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 11 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Research Indicates The frequency of maternal visitation is associated with reunification (Davis et al., 1996; Leathers, 2002 ) Supervised visitation services that (1) build strong alliances with families, (2) provide skills training, and (3) assist family members with concrete needs, result in sustained reunification more often than comparison services (Fraser, Walton, et. al, 1996)

12 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 12 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Research & Practice Challenge State regulations are varied and vague Programs are challenged by small budgets that limit visitation hours, staffing by trained personnel, security, and the number of families served

13 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 13 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Questions?

14 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 14 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Development of a Collaboration Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN): Large child welfare agency serving 13 counties in northern Indiana deciding to incorporate resilience building practices into an existing visitation program Devereux Center for Resilient Children (DCRC): Non- profit organization that develops resources and provides training for the assessment and enhancement of resilience in children and caregivers.

15 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 15 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience The ability to recover from or adjust to misfortune or change The ability to bounce back “Overcoming the Odds” Better than expected outcomes in the context of adversity

16 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 16 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children

17 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 17 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children By incorporating a resilience-focused approach, the agency administration hoped to give the children in their services tools to function better than might-be-expected, given their adverse life circumstances.

18 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 18 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Development of a Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation 15 hours of staff training to become familiar with Devereux resources (e.g., DECA I/T, DECA P2, DESSA, strategy guides for parents and staff) Drafted a book of family activities to help parents recognize and promote resilience in their children 3 focus groups to consider implementation & adaptations

19 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 19 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Questions?

20 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 20 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Program Model

21 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 21 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children The theory of change underlying the Sherman Model posits that changes in the behavior of workers will result in changes in the behavior of parents, which will in turn promote resilience & permanency for children. Child Resilience Improved Parenting Supportive Coaching

22 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 22 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Six Elements The visitation environment Strengths-based assessment Resilience meetings between workers & caregivers Stable visitation routines Activities to promote resilience Progress check-ups

23 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 23 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Enhancing the Visitation Environment

24 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 24 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Visitation Environment - Baseline Visitation rooms were 10 feet by 12 feet, furnished with spare office furniture and portable televisions Television watching was a common visitation activity Toys could be retrieved from a locked, central cabinet Worker: “rooms aren’t very warm or welcoming” How family members felt about rooms: “They hate them”

25 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 25 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Visitation Environment - Research Comfortable, home-like, positive, child proofed, with clean, unbroken furniture, interesting toys, and developmentally appropriate activities (Haight et al. 2002) Sufficient activities to encourage choice-making and to allow for engagement with all children equally (Mourikis, 2002) Spaces that are organized and structured (Appelstein, 1998)

26 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 26 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Visitation Environment - Enhancements Created a checklist to guide preparation of the visit environment Modified rooms to help the families feel comfortable and dignified (e.g., fresh paint, living room furniture, softer lighting, wall decorations, clean laminate floors with new area rugs, and fresh blankets for floor time) Low shelves stocked with toys and materials to support developmentally appropriate, interactive activities

27 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 27 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children

28 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 28 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Visitation Environment - Feedback Worker: “I believe that having the tools the parent needs to engage with their child, readily present and available, makes it easier for the interaction to take place.” Worker: “The changes in the activities in each room has greatly enhanced engagement between the parent and child.” Some agencies have found their local business communities generous in supporting environmental enhancements of this nature (Beyer, 2008)

29 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 29 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Strength-Based Assessment

30 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 30 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Norm-Referenced Behavior Rating Scales Measures the frequency of desirable child behaviors, reported by a parent The DECA-I for Infants (Mackrain et al., 2007) children aged four weeks through 17 months. Two scales (Initiative and Attachment / Relationships) as well as a summary score (Total Protective Factors) are derived from 33 items. The DECA-T for Toddlers (Mackrain et al., 2007) is used for children aged 18 through 35 months. Three scales (Initiative, Attachment / Relationships, and Self-Regulation) and the Total Protective Factors summary score are derived of 36 items.

31 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 31 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Norm-Referenced Behavior Rating Scales Measures he frequency of desirable child behaviors, reported by a parent The DECA-P for Preschoolers (LeBuffe & Naglieri, 1999) is for children aged two through five years. Three scales (Initiative, Attachment, and Self-Control), a Total Protective Factors summary score, and a Behavioral Concerns Screener, are derived from 37 items. The DESSA (LeBuffe et al., 2009) is used for children aged Eight scales (Self-Awareness, Social-Awareness, Self-Management, Relationship Skills, Personal Responsibility, Decision Making, Goal-Directed Behavior, and Optimistic Thinking) and a summary score (Social-Emotional Composite) are derived from 72 items.

32 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 32 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children

33 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 33 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Why & How Research: A series of studies have demonstrated that these scales have excellent reliability and validity for identifying protective factors related to positive developmental outcomes in the context of risk (LeBuffe & Shapiro, 2004; LeBuffe, Ross, Fleming, & Naglieri, 2013) Practice: A standardized assessment is completed during intake to determine whether each of the child’s protective factors are typical relative to the national norms, high enough to be considered a strength, or low enough to be considered an area that needs to be developed

34 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 34 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Meetings

35 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 35 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Meeting - Purpose Begin to develop an alliance between parent and worker Discuss the child’s strengths Set visitation goals Select initial resilience-enhancing visitation activities

36 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 36 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Meeting - Literature The coaching of parents should begin before visitation starts Take the time for parents and workers to build rapport Agencies should to have a formalized process that requires workers to seek family input Collaboratively develop visitation goals and plans (Beyer, 2008; Haight et al., 2002) Gerring, Kemp, & Marcenko, 2008; NTAECSC, 2008; Mourikis, 2002; New York State Office of Children and Family Services, 2004; Nesmith, 2013)

37 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 37 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Meeting - Practice The worker facilitates introductions, provides an overview of the Sherman Model and visitation routine, reviews the child’s assessment results with the parent, and assists with selection of child and parent goals and coaching supports Workers were trained and provided with a sample transcript to assist (as desired) with facilitation

38 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 38 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Plan Goals are set for the child, the parent, and the worker (coach) Children’s Goals: 1-2 goals are selected based on assessment results Older children are encouraged to be involved in setting goals Typical goal topics include: building trust and connection, becoming curious and interested, improving confidence and decision making, cultivating relations with others, and extending learning from positive role models

39 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 39 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Plan Goals are set for the child, the parent, and the worker (coach) Parent’s Goals: 1-2 parenting goals are selected from a list Intended to support the child goals and increase the parent’s competence and confidence in her/his parenting skills Typical goal topics include: naming a child’s feelings, staying calm, or providing appropriate affection

40 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 40 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Plan Goals are set for the child, the parent, and the worker (coach) Coach’s Goals : Parent is encouraged to select 1-2 methods the coach can use to support and encourage the parent during the visit The coaching supports typically include: asking questions, modeling, offering creative ideas, playing alongside, and cueing

41 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 41 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Resilience Meetings Research: Only one-half of workers report actively helping parents prepare for the visit (Haight et al., 2002) Practice: Workers have responded positively to the format of the resilience meetings: “They really are an easy way to join the family as a team and all get on the same page. The structure really helps.”

42 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 42 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Visit Routine

43 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 43 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Stable Visitation Routines Greetings Family Circle Resilience Activities Meal or Snack (when appropriate) Clean-up Review and Planning time

44 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 44 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Stable Visitation Routines

45 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 45 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Activities to Promote Resilience

46 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 46 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Activities to Promote Resilience Structured Activities from the Activities Book Organized by goal, lists age range, parenting skill suggestions, a list of necessary materials, and step-by step instructions Parent: “I can’t help but be a part of the fun activities. They bring more laughter out in all of us and it has been 4 to 5 years since my son belly-laughed like today, which reminds me of how he still is inside and how I am and how much I have learned.”

47 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 47 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Activities to Promote Resilience Parent-Planned Structured Activities Worker: “Parents feel much more in control when they come up with an idea of their own and then can receive validation and praise from the worker.” Open-Ended Activities Parents are taught that everyday moments can be transformed into resilience-building experiences by keeping the goals in mind

48 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 48 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Progress Check-Up

49 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 49 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Progress Check-Up Rationale Research suggests that more contact between parents and workers is associated with more frequent visitation and less child time spent in out-of-home placements (McWey & Mullis, 2004; White, Albers, & Bitonti, 1996) Progress in the parent–child relationship and the growth of skills should be reviewed and celebrated (Fawcett et al., 1995) Goals / plans should be adjusted regularly (Loar, 1998)

50 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 50 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Progress Check-Up Meetings After each intervention period of completed services (approx. 10 visits), the children are re-assessed with an age-appropriate Devereux strengths-based assessment The coach schedules a Check-Up Meeting with the parent in order to review the family and child progress A discussion with the parent is held to celebrate accomplishments and adjust goals, as desired, in the child, parent, and coaching domains

51 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 51 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Questions about the model? Up Next: Implementation

52 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 52 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Program Implementation

53 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 53 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Implementation Supports Training: 12 hrs. (Three 4 hr. modules; flexibly scheduled) Training Participant: “I love every part of this program. It’s intuitive and I can’t wait to have a plan that works for what I’ve been trying to do.” Leadership Team: Meets on a weekly basis to plan, review data, determine needs for support, and celebrate successes

54 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 54 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Implementation Supports Staff Supervision - Strengths-based supervision is a promising practice that may “contribute to a positive work environment, decrease staff turnover, and increase job satisfaction.” (NTAECSC, 2008) 2x monthly staff meetings and monthly small group meetings to foster team-building, provide group support, and discuss program evaluation, refinement, and expansion. Provides consistent communication between workers & leadership Forum to discuss individual cases and highlight successes Each worker also meets weekly with direct supervisor for one hour

55 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 55 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Initial Successes - Workers 83% of staff agreed or strongly agreed that the program improved their professional skills 96% of staff reported feeling comfortable using coaching supports with parents

56 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 56 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Initial Successes – Children & Families 83% of staff A/SA that JSPRC helps promote resilience in children 91% of staff A/SA that the strengths-based assessments help create appropriate goals with children & families 87% of staff A/SA that JSPRC helps parents engage during visits 87% of staff A/SA that JSPRC helps prepare parents for reunification 84% of staff A/SA that JSPRC helps improve parenting skills

57 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 57 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Road Blocks Financial Support Practice Authority, Parent Caution, and Collaboration Difficult Role Changes Variability in Visit Locations Limited Intervention Time The Lack of Foster Parent Inclusion

58 A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare July 2014 Slide 58 CalSWEC Research & Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series Joan Sherman Program for Resilient Children Revisions

59 Presented By: Valerie Shapiro – Heidi Sims, SCAN – California Social Work Education Center Research and Training Network Evidence-Informed Practice Series A Strengths-based Approach to Supervised Visitation in Child Welfare


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