Case management is offered throughout the life of a child protection case, from the initial investigation to case closure. Case management involves working with families to establish goals, creating plans to achieve the goals, providing services to meet needs identified in assessments, monitoring progress toward achievement of the goals, and closing cases when the goals have been achieved. It is important that child protective services staff acknowledge that each family is different and aim to provide tailored, culturally relevant services. By being more culturally responsive, agencies embrace the principles of equal access and nondiscriminatory practices and can better meet the unique needs of the families they serve.
If you’re interested in best practices for developing a case plan, use the following resources, which include State and local examples.
Case Planning for Families Involved With Child Welfare Agencies
Caseload and Workload Management
Episode 30: Casework: What It Really Takes [Podcast]
Child Welfare Information Gateway (2018)
Offers guidance and examples from former caseworkers on how to manage time, energy, and emotions for new or future caseworkers, along with tips on how to perform the work.
State and local examples
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Presents information on case planning and how to develop case plans that serve as a clear and specific guide for caseworkers and families. The website reviews engaging families in case planning, developing the case plan, amending the case plan, and concurrent planning.
Case Planning (PDF - 38 KB)
Connecticut Department of Children and Families (2019)
Provides an overview of case planning for child welfare professionals in Connecticut and explains the purpose and goal of case planning, developing family case plans, contents of case plans, and more.
Case Planning for Positive Permanency
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (2019)
Gives an overview of case planning in Texas and the requirements to produce a case plan. The resource explores concurrent planning, permanency goals, and more related to positive permanency for children.
Case Planning in Child Welfare as a Frontline Worker Competency
Minnesota Child Welfare Training Academy (2020)
Reviews the requirements for creating a case plan in child welfare and how to collaboratively plan with families. This resource explores case planning for safety, permanency and well-being and includes tools for case planning.
Case Planning to Support Family Change (PDF - 96 KB)
State of Florida Department of Children and Families (2019)
Outlines the purpose of case plans in child protection and includes information on best practices for family engagement around building case plans for change.
Developing the Case Plan/Prevention Plan (PDF - 166 KB)
Indiana Department of Child Services (2021)
Provides guidance on developing case plans, including on permanency planning, cultural considerations in case planning, and elements of the case plan.