The family-centered philosophy, which follows a referral for services, has resulted in practice that seeks to empower families and help them recognize and build on their strengths. It also includes meeting extended family members and making families partners in permanency planning. Several sites had implemented some form of family conferencing or family group decisionmaking.
Catawba County, North Carolina, used two family group conferencing models to facilitate planning and decisions about a range of family needs to address child safety. In Fairfax County, Virginia, family assessments were used to engage families in cooperative efforts to find solutions to the problems for which they were reported. In Ventura County, California, the family decisionmaking process brought families, friends, and service providers together to make decisions to ensure the safety and well-being of the children. Utah County, Utah, worked to engage families and build on their strengths through many family-oriented practices.