Creating a Family-Centered Agency Culture
Successful implementation of a family-centered approach to working with children and families requires the creation of an agency culture that embraces family participation and engagement, focuses on family strengths and assets, enters into true collaborative partnerships with families and communities, and provides culturally sensitive services across the service continuum. Agencies must assess their organizational culture to identify their own strengths and challenges and use the results to build support throughout the organization for a change to more family-centered practice.
The following resources discuss system reforms and other efforts to create a family-centered agency culture and includes State and local examples.
State Guides & Manuals Search
Offers links to available State practice models.
Family Strengthening at the Tipping Point: Emerging Transformation in the Human Services Field (PDF - 279 KB)
Family Strengthening Policy Center, National Human Services Assembly (2007)
Describes advances at national and community levels in human services organizations to integrate place-based, family-strengthening approaches into policies, programs, and practices.
Focus on Families! How to Build and Support Family-Centered Practices in After School
Kakli, Kreider, Little, Buck, & Coffrey (2006)
United Way of Massachusetts Bay, Harvard Family Research Project, & Build the Out-of-School Time Network
Presents a guide that includes research on why family engagement matters, strategies to engage families, case studies of promising efforts, and an evaluation tool for improving practice.
An Introduction to the Practice Model Framework: A Working Document Series (PDF - 129 KB)
National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement & National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning (2008)
Presents a framework to help child welfare agencies and Tribal social service programs develop and implement a comprehensive, written, and articulated practice model.
Making a Mission Statement a Reality in Child Welfare: Resiliency and Solution-Focused Therapy as Core Strategy
Anderson & Sundet
Professional Development: The International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 9(2), 2006
Discusses the implementation of a 3-year demonstration project to promote organizational culture change and increase clinical competencies of workers. The project focused on using solution-focused therapy and emphasizing resiliency as a core intervention strategy.
Parent Leadership and Involvement
FRIENDS National Resource Center for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention
Presents resources on effectively involving parents in program development and supporting parent leadership.
State and local examples
Back on Track: Transforming Virginia's Child Welfare System (PDF - 2,028 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2010)
Describes the State's efforts to introduce a family-centered child welfare practice model, which increased both permanency rates and access to community-based care and reduced overall spending.
Evaluating the Implementation of Family Centered Practice in Maryland: July 1, 2010–June 30, 2011 (PDF - 1,280 KB)
Ahn, Reiman, O'Connor, Michalopolos, Shaikh, & Shaw (2011)
University of Maryland School of Social Work's Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children & Maryland Department of Human Resources, Social Service Administration
Explains the core practice values and strategies used in the family-centered practice model as well as the use of the Local Supervisory Review Instrument to improve programs and success indicators.
Improved Outcomes for Children: Planning and Implementation Guide (PDF - 188 KB)
New York City Children's Services (2009)
Provides a conceptual framework for providers identifying five key domains that impact Improved Outcomes for Children planning, implementation, and overall program functioning to improve outcomes for children in foster care and families receiving preventive services.
Management &supervision: Administering & managing child welfare agencies & programs - Child welfare practice models
Management & supervision: Building and sustaining system reform efforts
Management & supervision: Administering & managing child welfare agencies & programs - Building agency/community partnerships
Systemwide: Cultural competence - Agency/system change