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