Family-centered, strengths-based case planning and case management engages family members throughout the case to ensure services are tailored to best address the family's strengths and needs. Family members can recommend services that will be most helpful to them and participate in identifying expected outcomes and setting timelines to achieve the plan.
Ongoing case management requires frequent, planned contact with the family to assess progress toward goals. Caseworkers communicate and plan with multiple service systems to ensure provision of appropriate services and assess service effectiveness. Family members also are encouraged to use their skills to access resources, fully participate in services, and evaluate progress.
The following resources offer information about family-centered case planning and management and include State and local examples.
|Series Title||State Statutes|
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 812KB)
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections
Links to national and State resources on effective case planning strategies.
Information Packet: Child, Youth and Family Involvement in Case Planning (PDF - 178 KB)
National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and Permanency Planning Summarizes case planning issues, reviews relevant legislation, and provides information on model programs and resources on this topic.
Matching Services to Child and Family Needs (PDF - 624 KB)
The Child Welfare Policy and Practice Group (2012)
Improving Outcomes by Improving Practice, 2(2)
Addresses the challenges of tailoring child welfare services to meet child and family needs, discusses the effects and causes of service inflexibility, and provides strategies for matching services to needs.
Case Planning in Child Welfare: Practice Bulletin (PDF - 127 KB)
Iowa Department of Human Services (2008)
Discusses the ongoing process of case planning and highlights the importance of developing the case plan with the family in order to create a road map for safety, stability, and well-being.
Common Factors in Case Management With Children and Their Families
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare, University of Minnesota (2010)
Presents a free online training to guide caseworkers in effectively using the following common case management factors: relationships and expectancies between workers and families, external influences, and worker skills and techniques.
Evaluation of Washington's Solution-Based Casework Practice Model Interim Report: Part III: Social Workers' Baseline Survey Results (PDF - 1,628 KB)
Lyons, Courtney, Newby, & Lee (2009)
Partners for Our Children & University of Washington School of Social Work
Describes Washington State's implementation of solution-based casework and reviews social workers' job satisfaction, views of working conditions, and baseline perceptions of approaches to casework practice and obstacles to helping families who receive services.
Family-Centered Practice Guide: Engaging, Assessing and Building Strengths With Families (PDF - 553 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2006)
Explains how key principles of family-centered practices can be used throughout child welfare work and discusses strategies for engaging families and building collaborative relationships with families.
Participatory Case Planning in Child Welfare Services: A Resource Guide (PDF - 767 KB)
Northern California Training Academy (2008)
Describes best practices and outlines steps for using participatory case planning with families in the child welfare system.
Re-Visioning Case Management: Partnering With Families and Communities to Create Meaningful Change (PDF - 3,635 KB)
Offers a framework to guide staff and organizations in reviewing, discussing, and adapting their approach to case management; highlights programs that are implementing best practices; and includes questions to consider when incorporating partnership into case management.
Standard for Service Planning (PDF - 39 KB)
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (2011)
Provides direction and guidance regarding family services plans and alternate care plans. The document addresses definitions, documentation, timeframes, monitoring and evaluating family progress, and more. Access more of Idaho's Child Welfare Standards.
Supervisor's Guide to Implementing Family Centered Practice (PDF - 819 KB)
State of Mississippi Division of Family and Children Services (2005)
Helps supervisors develop and support staff to be family-centered in all aspects of assessment, service planning, and service delivery.