National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts. Findings on Local CPS Practices. 8.4 Changes in Working with Families


Some agencies have chosen to implement family-centered service philosophies. Such approaches result in practice that seeks to empower families and help them recognize and build on their strengths. Caseworkers make efforts to meet extended family members and make families partners in permanency planning. Several sites had implemented some form of family conferencing or family group decisionmaking.

Staff in Catawba County used two family group conferencing models to facilitate planning and decisions about a range of family needs to address child safety. Staff in Fairfax County used family assessments to engage families in cooperative efforts to find solutions to the problems for which they were reported. The family decisionmaking process in Ventura County brought families, friends, and service providers to work together to make decisions that will ensure the safety and well-being of the children. Staff in Utah County worked to engage families and build on their strengths through many family-oriented practices.