The question “How will the Practice Model and PIP influence the daily work of a CPSW, JPPO, YC?” is often raised. Child Protective Service Workers, Juvenile Probation and Parole Officers, and Youth Counselors work with children, youth, and families every day of their work lives. The Practice Model’s Beliefs provide overarching philosophies related to the work, while the Practice Model and Program Improvement Plan Strategies provide a framework for practice.
New Hampshire’s Practice Model outlines the beliefs and guiding principles that drive the Division’s approach to providing services. The most fundamental purpose of a Practice Model is to serve as a conceptual map and accentuate organizational ideology that should come together in creating the optimal environment that focuses on the safety, permanency and well-being of children, youth and families. With great emphasis in the areas of family engagement, safety and assessment, culture and climate, and restorative justice, the Practice Model will ensure high levels of partnership with families, communities and stakeholders alike. Furthermore, it is expected that the integrated vision created by the Practice Model will enhance consistency in service delivery, practice and policy throughout New Hampshire.
The Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), now consists of nine bureaus within the division. Three of these bureaus provide direct child welfare services to children, youth, and families. These bureaus include Child Protection Field Services (CPS), Juvenile Justice Field Services (JJS) and the Sununu Youth Services Center (SYSC).
As we move toward full implementation of the Practice Model and completion of our PIP, several trainings have been delivered for Child Protective Services and Juvenile Justice Services over the past two years and more trainings are scheduled. Additionally, as SYSC has become engaged in the design of their Practice Model, training plans are in place to begin implementation with their staff. In considering this training schedule, it will be helpful to understand the background of these influencing factors and how the Practice Model and Program Improvement Plan will impact the work of the CPSW, JPPO, and a YC in the field. Furthermore, an outline of upcoming trainings will help individuals plan their future schedules.
In 2009, New Hampshire was selected by the federal government to receive funding and intensive technical assistance to implement sustainable and systemic improvements to the state’s child welfare system, our “Practice Model”. Over the ensuing year, staff at all levels were engaged in designing a model for CPS & JJS in part. As this work proceeded, in 2010 New Hampshire underwent the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR). This review is a federally led process intended to rate the state’s child welfare system in the areas of safety, permanency and well-being. The findings of the CFSR influence the development of a Program Improvement Plan (PIP) that is designed to advance practice in various areas that were identified as needing improvement. The PIP is monitored through regularly scheduled Case Practice Reviews and through a variety of data sources. New Hampshire aligned the state’s Practice Model (which began in 2009) with their Program Improvement Plan in an effort to improve efficiency, share resources and ensure sustainability of both items. The alignment of Child Protection Field Services’ (CPS) and Juvenile Justice Field Services’ (JJS) Practice Model with the Program Improvement Plan (PIP) began with the initial implementation of several practice strategies. These strategies included the updating of Structured Decision Making (SDM), Family Assessment and Inclusive Reunification (FAIR), Solution-Based Casework (SBC), Solution-based Family Meetings, the Youth Action Pool, and Supervisory Standards & Training.
As examples, the Belief “All children/youth should be safe” provides a safety first mentality that should influence every decision that a CPSW or JPPO makes. To support this belief, both CPS and JJS identify the importance of partnering with families and communities when working to ensure the safety of children and youth. In practice, the CPSW and JPPO utilize Solution-based Casework which provides a structured framework for engaging families and their extended community supports to provide for the safety of their children and youth while holding them accountable for their actions and their progress.
“All children, youth and families deserve a life of well-being” is a Practice Model Belief that will also strongly influence practice in the field. Again, CPS and JJS recognize that through partnership and collaboration the best possible decisions can be made to ensure the well-being of children, youth and families. The Youth Action Pool is a strategy that supports the engagement of both current and former youth in care in many ways. The youth are able to provide the field with the “voice” of those receiving services. This “voice” will be used to influence practice and policy throughout the state.
Finally, “All children/youth need and deserve permanency” is also supported through a PIP and Practice Model Strategy. Both CPS and JJS recognize the importance of beginning a child or youth’s permanency planning immediately or at the first contact with a family and continue on an ongoing basis. The Family Assessment and Inclusive Reunification (FAIR) Meetings are designed to engage families and their support networks in an effort to support permanency planning in preparation for reunification and other long-term permanent living arrangements. The planning of these meetings begins immediately after a child or youth enters a placement setting and continue until reunification is achieved.
In 2011, SYSC began the development of their Practice Model and the Restorative Justice Conference planned for September 28, 2012 will begin the training process of that theory within the division for those Youth Counselors and other SYSC staff attending.
Many other examples may be drawn from the PIP and Practice Model connection. The important thing to remember is that all practice should support the Practice Model’s overarching Beliefs in some way. Anything that a CPSW, JPPO or YC does in the field should be able to be linked to a Practice Model Belief. All PIP strategies provide a very strong link to Practice Model Beliefs and Guiding Principles. Below you will find an outline of upcoming Practice Model and PIP inspired trainings.
9/10-9/14 Case Practice Review – Southern
9/21/12 Children and Youth in Court Protocol Summit – CPS
9/24-9/28 Solution-based Family Meetings – CPS, JJS Advanced Practice Sites
9/28/12 Restorative Justice Conference – 10 CPS and 10 JJS Attendees
9/28/12 FEDCAP – Limited CPS and JJS Attendee Availability
10/4-10/5 Better Together with Birth Parents – North Country – CPS & JJS
10/11,19,23 High Impact Facilitation – CPS, JJS Advanced Practice Sites
10/17 High Impact Facilitation –Berlin CPS and JJS
10/25-10/26 Attorney General’s Conference – CPS and JJS Attendee Availability
TBD Solution-based Family Meetings – CPS & JJS Berlin
TBD FAPA Conference – CPS & JJS Availability
TBD SBC Training with Dana Christensen - CPS & JJS Availability
11/28 Case Practice Reviewers Training – CPS & JJS Reviewers
12/13-12/14 Better Together with Birth Parents – Southern D.O. – CPS & JJS
12/3-12/7 Case Practice Review – Manchester
TBD Solution Based Family Meetings/High Impact Facilitation –CPS & JJS