Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Children, Youth and Families

NRCOI Publishes Child Welfare Practice Model Guide

To help families achieve positive outcomes, child welfare systems throughout the country are strengthening their approaches to practice. Many States choose to do this using a new or renewed child welfare practice model. Simply stated, practice models are the basic principles and approaches that guide an agency’s work and provide a framework for an organization’s overall approach to child welfare work—from vision through outcomes—and the specifics in between.

The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement's Guide for Developing and Implementing Child Welfare Practice Models offers an overall framework for developing, implementing, and/or strengthening a child welfare practice model; cites specific examples from the field; and provides additional information to help child welfare agencies and their partners make informed choices in selecting their approaches to this important work. It provides guidance on developing a practice model, and details steps to take through each stage of implementation, including a discussion of 14 specific implementation drivers. The Guide includes worksheets to help agencies articulate practice model principles, identify frontline practice skills, and assess readiness, and lists resources for ongoing support.

"A practice model really defines how you do business every day; it defines core values that inform how you interact with children and families. It also gives you a common and accepted set of principles and goals as you work with providers and other outside partners." - Cheryl Williams, Foster Care Program Manager, Richmond, Virginia, Department of Social Services

Download the Guide here!

Nellie Mae Education Foundation nominates Pious Ali for the Lawrence W. O'Toole Award

Pious Ali

Pious Ali, Youth and Community Engagement Specialist in Cutler’s Children, Youth, and Families Programs, has been nominated for the Lawrence W. O’Toole Award by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. Pious is one of six nominees from the New England states.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation believes that student-centered learning – where learning is personalized, engaging, competency-based and not restricted to the classroom – will prepare young people to graduate high school ready to contribute to their communities and succeed. This award is given out each year to an individual, school district, or non-profit that has exhibited great leadership in moving student-centered approaches to learning forward in the New England region.

The winner will be selected by online voting and will be awarded a $100,000 grant to help advance student centered learning!


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MYTC 2014 Celebration

Colby Swettberg, May 2014, MYTC

Every year the Maine Youth Transition Collaborative brings together youth and adult partners from around Maine to celebrate the year's achievements and milestones.

MYTC’s fourth annual celebration dinner was held at the Brunswick Hotel and Tavern on May 13, 2014. Over seventy young adults, adult partners, professionals, legislators, adoptive families, and friends came together for an evening of fun, renewed connections, learning, and good food.

The importance of mentors in the lives of young people was the theme for the evening. The keynote speaker, Colby Swettberg, Executive Director of Adoption and Foster Care Mentoring in Boston, was introduced by Jacob Hills. Ms. Swettberg talked about what good mentor-mentee relationships look like for youth in foster care and led a discussion about best practices and challenges to bringing youth and mentors together.

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