These programs are examples, as defined by the developers, of promising practices that enhance the safety and well-being of children in foster care. Child Welfare Information Gateway provides this information as a resource and does not define specific criteria for promising practices or make any claims as to the effectiveness of the approaches described.
These are selected program models and not a comprehensive list. They are designed to strengthen the quality of family foster care services and help States and local child welfare agencies achieve better outcomes for children and families by providing competency-based recruitment, preparation, and selection of foster parents as well as support and ongoing professional development. Resources include State and local examples.
Best and Evidence-Based Practices That Enhance Safety of Children in Foster Care (PDF - 204 KB)
Wisconsin Planning Council for Health and Human Services (2009)
Explains the differences between best practices and evidence-based practices. The report reviews best practices related to screening and assessment, recruitment and retention, foster parent training, health care issues, and workforce issues.
Building Community Partnerships, Step by Step
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2011)
Reviews the benefits of community partnerships, including the benefits for children, foster families, birth parents, and child welfare staff. The guidebook explains strategies for community partnerships and provides a framework for a step-by-step transition toward enhanced community partnerships, along with some practical suggestions for engaging residents, identifying local leaders, and maintaining the commitment to Family to Family values over time.
CWLA Best Practice Guidelines: Children Missing From Care
Child Welfare League of America (2005)
Provides agencies with a guide to develop administrative policies, procedures, and case practices that will decrease the likelihood of children going missing from family foster care and group and residential settings; ensure a coordinated and effective response when such instances do occur; and ensure that once children are returned to care, they, their caregivers, and their birth families receive necessary and appropriate services and supports.
Evidence-Based Practice in Foster Parent Training and Support: Implications for Treatment Foster Care Providers
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2008)
Highlights findings and discusses potential practice implications for treatment foster care agencies interested in implementing research-based practices of foster parent training and support.
A Foster Care Practice Model: Lifelong Families Case Practice Tools
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2012)
Includes resources and materials related to Lifelong Families, a practice model that is intended to serve as a method of improving foster care practice within private child welfare agencies and advancing permanency outcomes for children in care, especially older youth in treatment foster care.
KEEP (Keeping Foster and Kin Parents Supported and Trained)
The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare
Features a training that gives parents tools for handling their foster child's behavior and emotional issues and offers support for implementing these tools.
Family to Family
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Information and tools about Family to Family, a family foster care initiative that focuses on strengthening the network of families available to care for children, building partnerships with neighborhoods, developing culturally sensitive child welfare programs, and tracking outcomes.
Improving Outcomes for Our Nation's Foster Youth: Fact Sheet
The White House, Office of the Vice President (2014)
Announces the steps the White House and partner organizations are taking to support children and youth in foster care address challenges with completing their education, unemployment, financial security, and the criminal justice system.
A Movement to Transform Foster Parenting (PDF - 1,610 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2016)
Discusses approaches to ensure children receive the care they need and deserve based on information gathered from frontline workers.
PRIDE Model of Practice
Child Welfare League of America
Provides information about the PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education) program, a competency-based model for developing and supporting foster and adoptive families.
Trauma-Informed Practice With Young People in Foster Care (PDF - 447 KB)
Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative (2012)
Issue Brief, 5
Explains the trauma experienced by youth in foster care and how using trauma-informed practices to provide support and opportunities can promote healthy recovery and optimal brain development throughout adolescence and emerging adulthood. Reasons trauma occurs are discussed, as well as complex trauma and findings from the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study that found the conversion of traumatic emotional experiences in childhood into organic disease later in life. An appendix provides examples of trauma-specific interventions for adolescents that are supported by clinical and research evidence.
Child Welfare in Michigan: What Do We Know, Where Do We Go? A Public Health Perspective on Child Welfare (PDF - 203 KB)
University of Michigan School of Social Work & Michigan Department of Human Services (2005)
Reviews the challenges the child welfare system faces in Michigan, promising programs, and the development of a new initiative. The report discusses highlights and results of the Family to Family program, which include significant increases in relative placements, community involvement with families and children at risk, and the number of foster families recruited from communities where high rates of children are removed from their homes.
Family to Family in Monterey County: "Everyone's Chance to Care" (PDF - 311 KB)
Gomez & Harper (2005)
Describes the history and philosophy of Family to Family on global and local levels, the planning and preparation for institution, the rollout phase, current implementation practices, and performance outcomes for the Monterey County, CA, Department of Social and Employment Services' Family and Children's Services Branch.
Permanent Families & Lasting Connections, Clark County, Nevada
National Resource Center for Diligent Recruitment at AdoptUSKids (2017)
Examines how Clark County's Foster Parent Champion Program provides a support system for foster parents, relatives, and fictive kinship caregivers through increasing communication and access to support resources. The website includes the Foster Parent Champion Program flyer in English (PDF - 222 KB) and Spanish (PDF - 184 KB), along with other resources produced through this project.
Santa Clara County's Comprehensive Services to Parents: Non-Threatening, Approachable, and Engaging (PDF - 46 KB)
Describes how Santa Clara County, CA, has implemented a nonthreatening approach for working with parents by developing community-based family resource centers and utilizing team decision-making in its Family to Family program.