Circuit 8 has been selected as an Innovation Site for Family Centered Practice. This is both an honor and a privilege because it establishes our community as a forerunner in Family Centered Practice for the entire state of Florida.
As an Innovation Site for Family Centered Practice, PSF has partnered with the Department of Children and Families and other state and local agencies to establish and utilize systems and programs that will not only create successful outcomes for children and families locally, but also serve as an applicable model for the rest of the state.
The goal of using an Innovation Site approach is to demonstrate success with interventions that can then be replicated statewide. Key areas that Innovation Sites will develop, employ and enhance include:
- Leadership by guiding the development of Florida’s practice prototype and framework and serving as mentors and models to the rest of Florida
- Consultation Services using ongoing supervision and case-based support that promotes coaching, mentoring and modeling techniques to develop frontline caseworkers’ practice abilities. Skilled coaches and mentors spend hands-on time showing staff how to engage and work with children and families.
- Training through both on-site training and train-the-trainer events
- Community Engagement by facilitating coordination with supervisors, front line staff, law enforcement, the courts, and community agencies to help implement a Family Centered Practice model in their area
- Policy and System Development by working with a state team to strengthen policies and systems to sustain family-centered, evidence-based practices at the local level
- Program Evaluation through continued data collection and effectiveness research
What Does it Mean to be an Innovation Site?
Among other things, being an Innovation Site means that PSF is a partner with the Department of Children and Families in defining how Florida’s Family Centered Practice model will function and be deployed at the operational level throughout the state.
Each Innovation Site will receive intensive technical assistance from a System of Care coach recommended by the state planning team who is well-versed in the family-centered practice model as well as effective techniques for social change and enhanced communication.
Innovation Site staff will be trained as a unit to understand all aspects of the Family Centered Practice model. During regular visits, the System of Care Coach will observe, provide feedback and demonstrate strategies for optimal practice performance.
After intensive coaching, the Innovation Site will be given the go-ahead to allow child welfare providers from other areas of the state to visit and observe the Family Centered Practice model and procedures in action.
How Will The Process Be Evaluated?
After the extensive training period and with the System of Care Coach’s guidance and support, the Innovation Site will implement the Family Centered Practice model, including participating in biannual program evaluation activities. Evaluations will be shared with local community leaders and other pertinent members so that changes can be made as needed.
How Were Demonstration Sites Selected?
Circuit 8 met the following criteria to be selected as an Innovation Site:
- Regional and circuit leadership is committed to the implementation of the Family Centered Practice model.
- CBC agency heads are committed to the implementation of the Family Centered Practice model.
- Local judiciary is committed to the implementation of the Family Centered Practice model.
- There is a local child placement services agency (PSF) willing to commit to being an Innovation Site for two years and to participate in the collaborative design and implementation process.
What are the Benefits for a Demonstration Site?
Each demonstration site will receive training and individualized technical assistance that represents more than $80,000 in in-kind support. The Department, with support from the University of South Florida, will provide:
- Training to coaches who will support the Innovation Site staff
- Training to a team, including staff and leadership from each Innovation Site
- Consultation to program administrators and supervisors as needed
- Follow-up materials and print/web-based resources
- Processing of evaluation data and reports back to the Innovation Site
Whenever possible, the Department of Children and Families will provide resources to promote success at each site. Each Innovation Site will have increased flexibility to develop their system of care.
What About the Rest of the State?
While focus will be on the Innovation Sites, all areas and partners will be encouraged to continue family-centered approaches they may have already begun. They will be expected to learn about the programs being used by Innovation Sites and prepare for statewide implementation after the innovation period ends.