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Indiana Department of Child Services. Practice Model Update (Community Name) (Date of Presentations) (Presenters Name). Brief Background on Practice Reform. Practice Principles.

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Indiana Department of Child Services

Practice Model


(Community Name)

(Date of Presentations)

(Presenters Name)

Brief Background onPractice Reform

Practice Principles

  • DCS was created by the Governor through Executive order in January 2005 and enacted by legislation on July 1, 2005.

  • DCS is building a child welfare agency that reflects its mission and beliefs about protecting and serving the children and families of Indiana.

  • Lasting change and better outcomes can only be achieved if the work is grounded in strong principles and values.

  • Translating those values into every day actions and decisions requires us to rethink every aspect of how we work together with families and each other.

Mission & Vision

Practice Principles

  • Mission: The Indiana Department of Child Services protects children from abuse and neglect. DCS does this by partnering with families and communities to provide safe, nurturing and stable homes.

  • Vision: Children thrive in safe, caring and supportive families and communities.

We believe every child has the right to be free from abuse and neglect.

We believe every child has the right to appropriate care and a permanent home.

We believe parents have the primary responsibility for the care and safety of their children.


Practice Principles

We believe the most desirable place for children to grow up is with their own families, when these families are able to provide safe, nurturing and stable homes.

We believe in personal accountability for outcomes, including one’s growth and development.

We believe every person has value, worth and dignity.


Practice Principles

Framework for Child Welfare Service Provisions

Practice Principles

  • Preamble: Practice principles were developed with the core understanding that all decisions will be made with the primary consideration for child safety.

  • Purpose: Provides an overview of principles of DCS; provides a vision for practice, outlines policy and clarifies behavioral expectations necessary to improve practice.

To protect children from abuse and neglect.

To support families in identifying and using their inherent strengths and the resources in their community to resolve the conditions that led to abuse and neglect.

To affect permanent change that enhances the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families.


Practice Principles

To maintain and develop essential connections with family when children are unable to remain in their home.

To ensure that all children have the opportunity to achieve swift permanency through family preservation, family reunification, adoption, or independent living.


Practice Principles

These values and principles guide the child welfare system and the practice of child welfare service providers.

The core of every decision will be the consideration of safety and well-being of the child.

These values and principles represent the belief that by using evidence-based methods, the DCS mission can be achieved.

Core Practice Values & Principles

Practice Principles

These values and principles acknowledge that the complexity of the factors contributing to abuse and neglect present a challenge in implementing these values and principles.

These values and principles govern our actions in shaping policy, hiring and training staff, resource development and contract service design, case management, supervision and in evaluating outcomes of our efforts.

Core Practice Values & Principles

Practice Principles

Practice Indicators(measures/outcomes)

Practice Principles

  • Reduce substitute care

  • Increased use of relative care

  • Increased placement in own community

  • Reduced use of residential placement

  • Reduce number of placement moves

  • Increase sibling placements

  • Reduced length of stay

  • Increase permanency

  • Increased child & family visits

  • Reduced incidence of repeat maltreatment

Quality Service Review (QSR)

  • Full QSR

  • Grand Rounds

  • Community Involvement

Trust-based relationships are based on the following:





Trust-Based Relationships

Practice Principles

Trust-Based Relationships

Practice Principles

  • Respect: talking to clients, not at them; using Ms./Mr. until they say otherwise; looking at clients; asking for their input; thanking clients; and offering to shake their hands.

  • Genuineness:beingtransparent; honest; dependable; straightforward about expectations; following through; and admitting shortcomings.

Empathy:ask about clients; listen to them; respect their point of view; recognize, even verbalize, the way they’re feeling; andbe aware of yourbody language--look at them, sit up closer, etc.

Professionalism:maintaining appropriate boundaries, modeling behaviors, keeping confidentiality, etc.

Trust-Based Relationships

Practice Principles

Exploring Skills

Active listening, reflection, and attending behaviors.

Focusing Skills

Positive reframe, clarification, open and closed questions, indirect questions and summarization.

Building Trust-Based Relationships

Practice Principles

Guiding Skills

Engaging clients to think about starting over in a different way.

Solution Focused Questions

Used for getting to the underlying needs of families - getting “in the door.” Types: solution defining, past successes, exception finding questions, miracle questions and

scaling questions.

Building Trust-Based Relationships

Practice Principles

Information-Seeking:Having enough information so you can decide if what is being said is valid.

Grief and Loss: You have the information, but you really don’t want to change.

Ambivalence: You are willing to practice the desired behavior a little, but you only have one foot in the change.

Practicing Desired Behavior: You put both feet into the process.

Maintain Desired Behavior: You decide the change is worth making and put energy into assuring it continues.

The Stages of Change

Practice Principles

Terminology to describe the belief that it is critical to use the same philosophies, principles and values through all levels of the organization, including our families, children, staff, community partners, and providers.

Parallel Process

Practice Principles

TEAPI Series

  • Teaming

  • Engaging

  • Assessing

  • Planning

  • Intervening


Practice Principles

  • Done through the context of the Child and Family Teams- parents are at the wheel.

  • Team relies upon all of the members and their experience and expertise.

  • Family creates their own team.


Practice Principles

  • Fundamental skill of practice – building and developing trusting relationships.

  • Spend time up front building this relationship of trust.

  • Workers should be able to understand the family’s perspective and how the family is viewing it.


Practice Principles

  • Engage with the family in assessing the underlying needs and resources of the family.

  • Discover strengths, physical, mental and emotional needs.

  • Discover family connections.

  • Discover underlying needs of the family.


Practice Principles

  • Base the child and family plans on the assessment.

  • Plan for safety, permanency, and transitions.

  • Must be explored, stated and realistic concurrent plans.


Practice Principles

  • Must meet legislative timelines.

  • Must track the plans by visits, child and family team meetings, etc.

  • Must be able to adjust plans when it is needed.


Practice Principles

  • Every contact is a potential intervention.

  • Must understand that the clients have rights and must respect those rights.

  • The process of working with clients is the most important intervention.


Practice Principles

  • Train workers to intervene with families by:

    • Explaining the skill

    • Modeling the skill

    • Allowing time to practice the skill

    • Offer positive feedback


  • Over 125 hours of training (classroom and development of facilitators)

  • All FCMs have completed TEAPI and Facilitation training

  • TEAPI series is now a part of the new cohort training

Full disclosure

Child and Family

Team Meetings

Clinical Supervision

Solution focused questions

Family Network Diagram

Genograms/ Ecomaps



Meaningful visits

Professional involvement

Case Plans


Practice Principles


  • Assessments

  • Family Functional Assessment (FFA)

  • Practice Guide for Family Centered Casework

  • Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths Assessment (CANS)

  • Children’s Coloring Books

  • Safety, Risk and Needs Assessments

Child and Family Team Meeting (CFTM)

Practice Principles

  • A process that brings together the wisdom and expertise of:

    • Family, interested people (friends, neighbors, community members), formal Resources (child welfare, mental health, education, others)

    • Functions to serve the child and family’s achievement of safety, permanency, stability and well-being.

Child and Family Team Meeting (CFTM)

Practice Principles

In order to :

  • Learn what the family hopes to accomplish.

  • Set reasonable and meaningful goals.

  • Recognize and affirm the family’s strengths.

  • Assess family needs and find solutions.

  • Agree on next steps.

  • Achieve clarity about who is responsible for agreed upon tasks.

Stages of Family Teaming

Practice Principles

  • Building a Trusting Relationship-use exploring and focusing skills.

  • Identifying Team Members-identify resources with the family that leads to team members.

  • Preparing the Family Team -help members determine wants, desired outcomes/goals.

  • Working with the Team-facilitate Family Team Meeting to reach agreement on goals.

  • Maintaining the Family Team-complete steps of family’s plan, track progress, respond to concerns.

Types of Cases

Practice Principles

Child and Family Team Meetings will be utilized at every crucial point within the case such as:

- Reunification - Removal

- Placement Change - Case Transfer from or disruption Assessment to on going

  • Any juncture of the case whenever the team feels the parent needs more support.

Peer Coaches

Practice Principles

  • Individuals that train / coach FCM’s to become facilitators and understand their role in Family Team Meetings.

  • They are first facilitators and then become coaches.

  • Coaches are DCS staff who have been trained as such.

Clinical Supervision

Practice Principles

  • What is Clinical Supervision:

    Process whereby one individual with specific knowledge, expertise or skill provides support, while overseeing and facilitating the learning of another individual(s)

  • Clinical Supervision within the Practice:

    • Clinical Consultant

      • Focuses on best practice in terms of staff supervision

      • Models and creates a learning alliance

      • Provides tools/techniques to assist with further development of management staff

      • Researches and presents current clinical practice

Clinical Supervision

Practice Principles

Clinical Consultant Initiatives:

Example of Tools and Techniques

  • Open Group Dialog

    • Provides support to Supervisors and or/Directors

  • Clinical Case Staffings

    • Manage safety/risk- Teambuilding

    • Empower workers- Deal with resistance

    • Motivate staff- Parallel process

  • 360 Evaluations

    • Staff review of supervisor’s performance

    • Provides opportunity for management staff to receive constructive feedback

    • Encourages continued leadership development

Role of Community Partners

Practice Principles

  • Partner with DCS to carry the established out case practice across the provider system.

  • Participate in CFTMs when invited.

  • Assist in identifying and resolving current policy and practice barriers to case practice.

  • Be willing to host informational and training efforts for case practice understanding.

Impact on Service Providers

  • Anticipate a changing need for support services:

    • Support services are changing as needs are being developed

    • Addresses real need, not system need

    • Flexibility of service delivery

    • Helps to build and maintain natural support system of children and families

    • No duplication

Past Practice

Investigate to find facts.

Solely responsible for child safety.

We identify service needs for the family - prescriptive approach.

Today’s Practice

Assessment, including family strengths.

Shared responsibility for child safety.

Family identifies service needs and participates in all decision making.

Practice Picture

Practice Principles

Past Practice

Responsibility primarily on DCS for outcomes.

We create the team composition.

Do not manage to data – no identified outcomes.

Practice Picture

Practice Principles

Today’s Practice

  • Decisions through the lens of the long-term view.

  • Family creates the team composition.

  • Manage to data – know what we are measured on.

Past Practice

Lack consistent approach in engaging families and child welfare practice.

Risk assessment based on our interpretation.

Practice Picture

Practice Principles

Today’s Practice

  • Consistent approach and philosophy in practice.

  • Functional assessment is comprehensive and input sought from multiple people.


Practice Principles

Contact Info: (presenter’s contact #’s)

Thank You!

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