National Study of Child Protective Services Systems and Reform Efforts: Site Visits Report . Summary


The Western Region DCFS recently implemented the Utah Practice Model. This statewide initiative is a philosophical shift--from a legalistic, compliance model to a social work, strengths-based model--in how DCFS provides services to its clients. The goal of this effort is to empower families when making decisions that affect their lives.

The model is implemented primarily through intensive training for all staff members in the five practice areas. All workers receive training that enables them to effectively and realistically engage clients. Ongoing training and mentoring will be a permanent characteristic of the Utah Practice Model.

Agency administrators and staff are excited and committed to the practice model, and realize that they are still in the process of fully implementing its principles and practices. All agency staff agree that the practice model is good for families and staff because families feel more comfortable working with the agency and staff members are better able to assist families in accomplishing changes.

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