The Arkansas child welfare practice model describes all of our efforts to renew our work with families and aligns us more readily with our division’s mission. It reflects our goals, our principles, our casework process, our daily interactions and our decisions. It is not spelled out in any single document. Instead it is increasingly a part of everything we do and is reflected in every document we write and use.
The practice model is the way our systems work together to serve children and families.
Practice Model Goals
Our practice model unites our casework process with an approach that values and supports families at every step of a family’s encounter with our system. The goals of our practice model are:
- Safely keep children with their families.
- Enhance well-being in all of our practice with families.
- Ensure foster care and other placements support goals of permanency.
- Use permanent placement with relatives or other adults, when reunification is not possible, who have a close relationship to the child or children (preferred permanency option).
- Ensure adoptions, when that is the best permanency option, are timely, well-supported and lifelong.
- Ensure youth have access to an array of resources to help achieve successful transition to adulthood.
Principles to Guide Best Practices
Along with our goals, we support the practice model by looking for ways to incorporate the following principles into every encounter we have when working on behalf of families.
- Behavior change and the work of change is a part of our daily challenge.
- Safety for children is achieved through positive protective relationships with caring family and community members.
- Meaningful decisions require close family participation in decision making.
- Strengths of families and supporting these strengths contribute to life-long permanent relationships for children.
- Families’ success depends on community involvement and shared problem solving.
- Practice with families is interrelated at every step of the casework process.
- Sustainable success with families is the work of a team.
- The entire system must support frontline practice to achieve positive outcomes with families.
- Every staff position, role, and activity of the Division shows continuous effort to build and maintain professionalism.
- Skill based training and consultation forms the foundation for successful practice with families.
- Quality improvement and accountability guide all of our work.
- How we do the work is as important as the work we do.