Many child welfare agencies encourage practice improvement and systems change through the use of practice models that emphasize family-centered practice. The practice model contains definitions, explanations, and expectations for how an agency will operate and partner with families and other stakeholders in child welfare services. Resources include State and local examples.
Adopting a Child Welfare Practice Framework (PDF - 291 KB)
Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group (2008)
Describes the history and importance of creating a practice framework or model of practice.
Child Welfare Practice Models: Literature Review and Implementation Considerations (PDF - 286 KB)
California Social Work Education Center (2010)
Examines the use of practice models in child welfare and discusses strategies for choosing and implementing a model.
The Collaborative Practice Model for Family Recovery, Safety and Stability (PDF - 1,976 KB)
Children and Family Futures (2011)
Identifies 10 system linkage elements that providers can use to collaborate with one another and gives examples from States and communities that have demonstrated progress in each element. A list of resources and tools that are available to systems, agencies, and providers is included.
Evolving Models of Practice and Differential Response Systems (PDF - 855 KB)
Focuses on the development of practice models specific to child welfare practice in U.S. jurisdictions that are developing and implementing differential response systems.
Implementing Practice Models (PDF - 1,362 KB)
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement
Child Welfare Matters, 2011
Highlights 10 factors to consider when implementing a practice model using leadership, competency, and organization as drivers. The issue also provides lessons shared by four States further along in their implementation process as well as links to resources, State documents, and opportunities to connect with others through NRCOI's practice model peer network.
Information Packet: Family-Centered Practice Models (PDF - 90 KB)
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (2009)
Explores the implementation of family-centered practice in child welfare services and identifies best practices and model family-centered programs.
Positioning Public Child Welfare Guidance, American Public Human Services Association
Provides guidance on developing a public child welfare practice model. The website offers information on definitions, strategies, key processes, operations, and implementation.
Practice Model Framework: A Brief Overview
Casey Family Programs (2008)
View Abstract and Document
Reviews the essential components of a practice model based on the current research and highlights the experiences of three child welfare jurisdictions when developing and implementing practice models.
Practice Models in Child Welfare
Children's Bureau Express, 9(2), 2008
Describes recommended elements of a child welfare practice model and explains how two State child welfare agencies developed and implemented practice models.
The Story of Family to Family: The Early Years (1992-2006): An Initiative to Improve Child Welfare Systems (PDF - 473 KB)
Describes the Family to Family model, which provides States and communities with tools to redesign their child welfare system. This case study explains how the Casey Foundation set out to improve systems and practices across the country and describes the initiative's premise, framework, and strategies.
Successful Adoption and Implementation of a Comprehensive Casework Practice Model in a Public Child Welfare Agency: Application of the Getting to Outcomes Model
Barbee, Christensen, Antle, Wandersman, & Cahn
Children and Youth Services Review, 33(5), 2011
Presents one framework for approaching organizational changes that support practice model implementation.
2009 Minnesota Case Study: Using Positioning Public Child Welfare Guidance to Develop a Practice Model (PDF - 4,884 KB)
American Public Human Services Association. Casey Family Programs & Minnesota. Department of Human Services (2009)
Describes the process used in developing a practice model; discussions include practice definitions, lessons learned and facilitator reflections.
Back on Track: Transforming Virginia's Child Welfare System (PDF - 2,029 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2010)
Describes how Virginia successfully introduced a family-centered child welfare practice model, increased both permanency rates and access to community-based care, and reduced overall spending while decreasing the number of children in foster care.
Case Study: Indiana Child Welfare: Improving Practice to Improve Outcomes (PDF - 1,007 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2012)
Outlines the reform efforts undertaken by Indiana, with the guidance of the Annie E. Casey Foundation's Child Welfare Strategy Group, to help the State refocus its child welfare practice.