When developing a practice model, the agency defines the key components, values and principles and outcomes as part of the overarching strategy for the practice model. This will guide the agency as the service array, key processes and tools for
implementation are identified.
An effective practice model includes the following components:
First and foremost, the purpose of public child welfare is to improve outcomes for the target population for whom public child welfare has primary responsibility. That target population consists of the following:
Outcomes are not simply statistics, but measures of how lives have changed based on an interaction with the public child welfare agency.
Values and Principles
The field of public child welfare has an obligation to behaviorally define and model the basic values of performance with regard to the services provided to children, youth and families. These values must be relevant to all workers regardless of their professional functions, the settings in which they work, or the populations they serve.
Example : Iowa’s Department of Human Services’ Child Welfare Model of Practice provides the following “Guiding Principles” statement as part of their model:Customer focus.We listen to and address the needs of our customers in a respectful and responsive manner that builds upon their strengths. Our services promote meaningful connections to family and community.
We are a model of excellence through efficient, effective and responsible public
service. We communicate openly and honestly and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct.
We maximize the use of resources and use data to evaluate performance and make informed decisions to improve results.
Team work .
We work collaboratively with customers , employees and public and private partners to achieve results.
An effective public child welfare agency should develop an approach to assessment that is based on an understanding of the strengths and needs of families as they relate to the safety of children, risk of future maltreatment and the child’s well-being while in the custody of the agency. The approach to assessment should reflect an ecological understanding of the factors associated with child maltreatment and the strengthening of protective capacities of the adults responsible for a child’s care and development. The goal of the development of the service array will be to create a continuum of services that meets the needs of the target population that is based on accepted theory, research and data and are designed to meet specific outcomes including the cessation of future child maltreatment. These services must be readily accessible and delivered following defined practice standards.