What Does it Mean to use Family Centered Practice?
Utilizing family centered practice means utilizing services and programs that focus on the family as whole and support its culture, networks and community. As such, PSF partners with families to help define problems and identify solutions customized to the family. We work to ensure that investigators, case managers and other service providers interact with families in a way that evokes trust, respect and empathy and treats families as partners in the assessment, planning and decision-making processes.
The cornerstone of a Family Centered Practice is family inclusion, accommodation and participation.
How is the Family Included in the Process?
With family centered practice, we engage families in every aspect of care, problem-solving and guided support, treating the family and its support system as a unified team instead of separating the interests of adults, children and service providers. Recognizing that each person is aiming for the same goal enables us to employ proven-effective methods to help establish a safe, supportive and permanent home for children.
What Are the Roles of Members of a Family Centered Practice Model?
Child welfare experts have identified key approaches, activities and services that must be employed both within and outside a family to establish a strong partnership. A short list includes:
- Families & Caregivers should help decide the placement of a child when removal is necessary and work to reunite the family when possible, arrange for removed children to have placement in close proximity to parents/family, decide who should attend family team conferences, encourage a positive relationship between biological parent(s) and caregiver(s), and involve friends/family in overall assistance.
- Investigators should engage the family as early as possible, commit sufficient time to interact with all members, establish clear expectations with the family and perform frequent follow-up and joint visits.
- Case Managers should trust and believe in the family, maintain value neutrality, encourage families to be part of the decision-making, provide comprehensive methods to address issues, encourage partner family and biological parent interaction and discuss issues with court liaisons and FTC Facilitators.
- CPI/CM Supervisors should seek to identify underlying causes of problems, provide coordination with court actions, create a comprehensive assessment of all family members and work with the FCC as soon as possible and as often as needed.
- Service Providers include resources such as participating community members, the FCP, Medicaid, funding and training programs and other elements that assist families in developing skills, solving problems and creating a safe environment for all.