Community Partnerships: Improving the Response to Child Maltreatment.
Children's Bureau. Office on Child Abuse and Neglect. |
|Year Published: 2010|
Twenty Factors for Successful Partnerships
This graphic illustrates the twenty factors for successful partnerships, which are listed in six categories. The following lists the categories and related factors:
- Process and Structure Factors
- Members share a stake in the process and outcome
- Multiple layers of participation (members include both line staff and middle and upper management of participating organizations)
- Development of clear roles and policy guidelines
- Appropriate pace of development
- Resource Factors
- Sufficient funds, staff, materials, and time
- Skilled leadership
- Purpose Factors
- Concrete, attainable goals and objectives
- Shared vision
- Unique purpose (different from that of the individual participating groups)
- Membership Characteristics
- Mutual respect, understanding, and trust
- Appropriate cross-section of members (stakeholders adequately represented)
- Collaboration is seen as being in the members' self-interest
- Ability to compromise
- Communication Factors
- Open and frequent communication
- Established informal relationships and communication links
- Environmental Factors
- Experience with collaboration or cooperation in the community
- Collaborative group is seen as a legitimate leader in the community
- Favorable political and social climate
Exhibit 4-1: The CPS Process
This flow chart provides an overview of the child protection process.
The first step is identification, which means to recognize signs of child abuse or neglect.
The second step is reporting. This means to contact a designated agency (CPS or law enforcement) and provide information on suspected maltreatment.
The third step is intake. During intake, it is determined whether a report meets statutory and agency guidelines. A decision is made whether to investigate and an assessment is made regarding the urgency of the response to the request.
If the case does not meet statutory and agency guidelines (also known as screened out), the family can be referred to other services, depending on whether any other needs were identified, or the case is closed.
If the report does meet statutory and agency guidelines (also known as screened in), it goes through an initial assessment or investigation. In this process, the caseworker will contact the child and family to gather information and then make a determination of whether maltreatment occurred. The caseworker also will assess the safety of the child and whether there is a need for emergency removal or services. In addition, they will assess the risk of future abuse or neglect.
If the assessment rules out or unsubstantiates that abuse occurred, the case is closed. The family also can be referred to other services depending on whether any other needs were identified.
If the assessment or investigation substantiates the abuse, a family assessment is performed to identify the family's strengths and needs and to assess factors contributing to the risk of maltreatment.
The next step is planning. In this stage, the caseworker specifies the outcomes and goals that will reflect a reduction or elimination of the risk of maltreatment to the child. The caseworker will identify strategies or services to achieve these goals and outcomes; develop case plans, permanency plans, and other plans; and establish time frames to meet these goals.
After developing case plans, the caseworker decides on what type of service provision is necessary. The services can be provided in-home, for example, family preservation and parenting education, or provided out-of-home, for example, foster care and reunification services.
The next step is an evaluation of family progress. This includes assessing the safety of the child and the reduction of risks; evaluating the achievement of family outcomes, goals, and tasks; and reviewing progress and the need for continued services. If such services need to continue, the caseworker will perform additional family and case planning and review the types of services to provide.
Based on findings of the family progress evaluation, the caseworker will decide if the planning goals have been met. If so, the case is closed once the caseworker assesses the levels of safety and risk and determines whether the family can protect the child without further CPS services. The family also can be referred to other services depending on whether any other needs were identified.
Exhibit 4-2: Differential Response System
This flow chart provides an overview of a sample differential response system.
In the first step, the report is screened to determine the whether it is appropriate for the child welfare agency to intervene. If it is not appropriate, the report is screened out, and the agency may make a referral for other community services. If the agency's intervention is appropriate, the case undergoes an alternative response screening. This involves asking two questions: "Is there an administrative rule requiring that the report be investigated?" and "Are there other factors that would necessitate an investigation?"
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, the case goes to the investigation track, during which there are safety and risk assessments and the gathering of evidence. After the investigation comes the disposition stage, during which it is decided whether the case is substantiated or unsubstantiated and whether the child is in need of protective services. If the case is substantiated, it falls into one of the following three categories:
- Category I: Removal required
- Category II: Court mandated services required
- Category III: Services are needed.
If the case is unsubstantiated, it falls into one of the following two categories:
- Category IV: Voluntary services recommended
- Category V: No services are needed.
If the answer to both the alternative response screening questions is no, the case would move to the family assessment track, during which there are safety and risk assessments and a complete assessment of family strengths, needs, and resources. There are three possible outcomes based on these assessments. In the first outcome, there is a determination that no services are needed. In the second outcome, voluntary services are recommended. The family may either decline or accept these services. In the third outcome, the agency determines that the family needs services to maintain the child safely in the home. The family may either decline or accept these services. If the family declines the services, the agency may place the family in the investigation track.
It is also possible for a family to move between the family assessment and investigation tracks for other reasons.
Exhibit 5-1: A Logic Model
This graphic illustrates the core components of a logic model. The logic model in the graphic starts with the situation and priorities. Assessing these includes an analysis of the problem to be addressed, the partnership's priorities, and how factors such as the partnership's mission statement and values will affect the solution. The situation and priorities lead into the inputs, which are the resources, contributions, and investments that go into the program. Specific inputs include staff, volunteers, time, money, the research base, materials, equipment, technology, and partners.
The inputs lead into the outputs, which are the activities, services, events, and products that reach the children and families who participate or who are targeted. Examples of the activities, services, and events include conducting workshops and meetings; delivering services; developing products, curricula, and resources; conducting trainings; providing counseling; conducting assessments; facilitating; partnering; or working with the media. Examples of participants include clients, agencies, decision-makers, and customers.
The outputs lead into the outcomes, which are the results or changes for the individuals, groups, communities, organizations, or systems. There are three types of outcomes: short-term, medium-term, and long-term. Short-term outcomes are changes in learning, such as awareness, knowledge, attitudes, skills, opinions, aspirations, and motivations. Medium-term outcomes are changes in actions, such as behaviors, practices, decision-making, policies, and social action. Long-term outcomes are changes in social, economic, civic, and environmental conditions.
The inputs, outputs, and outcomes affect and are affected by assumptions and external factors. Assumptions are the beliefs the partnership members have about the program, the people involved, and the context and way in which the members think the program will work. External factors are the environment in which the program exists and include those factors that interact with and that influence the program's actions and outcomes (e.g., the economy, the neighborhoods, grassroots support).
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