Solution Based Casework
In September 2010, PSF and the Department of Children and Families launched a family-centered initiative by embracing and implementing Solution Based Casework (SBC) into our system of care in North Central Florida.
Solution Based Casework is a family centered model that seeks to help the family team organize, prioritize and document the steps they will take to create safety, improved well-being and permanency for their children. The three basis goals of the model are:
1. Develop partnerships with the family, providers and family networks.
2. Focus on pragmatic everyday family like tasks.
3. Promote specific prevention skills needed for the family to successfully fulfill these everyday tasks.
Solution Based Casework (SBC) was developed by integrating theory from Family Development Theory (Carter and McGoldrick, 1999), Cognitive Behavioral Theory (Marlatt & Gordon, 1985, Pithers, 1990, Beck 1993) and Solution Focused Theory (Berg, 1994, DeShazer, 1988). The model teaches interviewing and consensus building skills that help the assessment worker define the family’s problem as a difficult situation in everyday life and anchor the assessment around the parenting issues that all families face given a child of a certain age, regardless of race, socioeconomic background or culture. SBC helps track the details of those situations at the family level and individual level. It also helps focus the attention of the assessor around exceptions to the problem as well as the problem itself.
In case planning, case plans are owned and developed by the family and are skill focused as opposed to compliance focused. Case plans are organized around family level objectives (improved supervision, secure and safe housing, etc.) and Individual level objectives (manage substance abuse, manage temper, battle depression, etc.). The family then partners with the caseworker, providers and members of their family networks when possible to develop a new plan around the family level struggles and individual level struggles. This creates an audience for change and opportunities to collect and celebrate success around skill attainment thereby creating a shared conceptual map for safety and the reduction of risk.
In using this model, the family has a voice and their own plan of action. It is a plan that employs expertise within the family, the families’ network of providers and community relationships, a plan that is very specific, and tied to everyday life. As a result, accountability is measured by the successful acquisition and documentation of effective prevention skills at the family and individual level.
Solution Based Casework is evidenced based, and research revealed improved performance in studies involving child welfare Aden federal outcomes where the SBC model was utilized and trained with high fidelity. The model has attained a scientific rating level of 3 through the California Evidenced-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.