1 Understanding and Developing Child Welfare Practice Models The Service Array Process National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement.
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1 Understanding and Developing Child Welfare Practice Models The Service Array Process National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement A Service of the Children’s Bureau, U.S.D.H.H.S. April 28, 2008
2 Introduction Every child welfare agency has a practice model, even if it is not articulated. At a minimum, the agency’s practice model is embedded in its policy. If the agency’s unarticulated practice model is embedded in its policy, the model is not easily accessible. If the agency’s practice model is not articulated, it may not be the practice model the agency really wants.
3 The Need for Integrating/Aligning Child Welfare Agencies’ Mission Vision Core Principles into developing: Policy Procedures Training Supervising Measuring Evaluating
4 Definition of a Practice Model A child welfare practice model is a conceptual map and organizational ideology of how agency employees, families, and stakeholders should partner in creating a physical and emotional environment that focuses on the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and their families. The practice model contains definitions and explanations regarding how the agency as a whole will work internally and partner with families, service providers, and other stakeholders in child welfare services.
5 Definition (cont’d) A practice model is the clear, written explanation of how the agency successfully functions. The practice model is prescriptive in how services should be provided as articulated in agency regulations, policies, and procedures. It includes the practice activities and rationale that form the case process. It is the agency’s guide to working with children and families.
6 Definition (cont’d) The practice model should make an explicit link connecting the agency’s policy and practice with its mission, vision, and core values. It is a practice structure conceptualized and driven by fundamental values which incorporate integrated best-practice behavior to achieve overarching goals. It is a framework to guide the daily interactions of employees, families, stakeholders, and community members connected to their work with the child welfare agency in conjunction with the standards of practice to achieve desired outcomes. It can be used to drive critical systemic and operational issues to achieve greater system-wide advancement.
7 Elements of a Child Welfare Practice Model Could Include: Core principles, agency values, and standards of professional practice. Strategies and functions to achieve the core principles, agency values, and standards of professional practice. Plan for assessing service needs and engaging families. Strategies to measure family outcomes. Strategies to measure agency and worker outcomes. Plan for measuring and sustaining organizational success. Plan for supporting organizational and practice change.
8 A Model of Practice: Applies to everyone. Defines relationships. Guides thinking. Structures beliefs about families.
9 Three Components of a Practice Model Values Practice Outcomes
10 First Component: Values. Values are expressed by… A set of principles to work from Choices of tools for training and working Organization-wide commitment to chosen values
11 Values Support… The central position of the child and the family The primary considerations for the caseworkers in their interactions with children and families. Shared commitments across agency and partner roles.
12 Second Component: Practice. Defining Practice What processes will be used. What skills are needed. How the agency will mirror the caseworker’s relation to the family.
13 The Approach to Practice is Continuously Defined The model provides a guide. Training provides a knowledge and skill base for practice. Supervision reinforces and refines practice. Practice is continuously re-implemented in the field with greater levels of consistency and sophistication.
14 The Third Component: Outcomes. Outcomes for a Model of Practice Outcomes are specific and positive for children and families. Measured in terms of the model’s expectations. Explicit measurement for the model. Measurement motivates a standard of practice.
15 Two Examples of Practice Models District of Columbia Utah
16 DC Child Welfare Practice Model Four Fundamental Goals: Children are safe. Families are strengthened. Children and teens have permanence. Child and teen development needs are met.
17 DC Child Welfare Practice Model Case Principles and Values: Children first Family focused Respect for all clients Urgency Leadership Assessment Intervention Authority Placement Team Work
18 DC Child Welfare Practice Model. Leadership Principles: Focus Get results through others Use power and influence Be visible Manage conflict Production Communication of expectations Coaching Control Feedback People/trust development
19 DC Child Welfare Practice Model Practice Protocol for Social Workers: Respect and engagement Assess Plan Coordinate and lead Serve Monitor and evaluate Adjust Reassess and close
20 Utah Child and Family Services Practice Model Principles Processes Skills Outcomes
21 Utah Practice Model Seven Principles Five Skill Areas Outcome Measures
22 Utah Practice Principles Protection Permanence Development Cultural Responsiveness Partnership Organizational Competence Professional Competence
23 Utah Practice Processes and Skills Engaging Teaming Assessing Planning Intervening
24 Utah Changes in System Outcomes Increased effort and confidence Ability to manage data and practice improvement Training seen as instrumental New employees show rapid acculturation Region-based, annual measurement through the Qualitative Case Review
25 Lessons Learned: DC Caution around multiple concurrent system- wide practice shifts—how much to take on? Change fatigue with multiple practice shifts. The vital role of stakeholder and staff education and empowerment opportunities. Conceptualizing and eventuating a culture shift around practice to actualize practice model values.
26 Lessons Learned: Utah Respect the change initiative Intend to make your agency more positive Create accountability for shared values Always be strengths-based Always be aware of the underlying conditios Always focus on solutions Have clear, time-related goals Use external pressures to further goals
27 Lessons Learned: Utah (cont’d) Intend a unique best for each child and family Put the family first and in the lead Acknowledge each child’s and family’s culture, needs and history Use each strategy of the model with the family Provide opportunities for learning and leadership for the family
28 Lessons Learned: Utah (cont’d) Useful Tool: Appreciative Inquiry Ask what is workingReinforces strengths now. and respect for what has been accomplished. Ask what needs to beAcknowledges aware- changed.ness of needs. Ask what solutions Acknowledge that we are available oreach have our own possible.solutions within us.
29 Acknowledgements: Workshop presented at 2007 Children’s Bureau Conference for Agencies and Courts, Arlington, VA, December 12, 2007 Angie Herrick Bordeaux, NRCOI Dr. Roque Gerald, District of Columbia, Child and Family Services Agency Dr. Midge Delavan, Utah Department of Child and Family Services