Moving Child Welfare Forward
Achieving Positive Outcomes for Children, Youth and Families
Class Four: The Child Welfare Team
- Who are or should be members of the child welfare team? Why?
- Elements of collaboration at the case, service and organizational
When this class is complete the student should be able to:
- Identify key members of the child welfare team and their role
is achieving positive outcomes for children, youth and families
- Implement effective collaboration models , strategies and
- Understand the benefits of cross agency case planning and
how to achieve them.
- Student paper, 2 -4 double spaced pages. Describe the primary
role and responsibilities of each of these stakeholders in assessing
families’ needs and matching them to services:
- adoptive/foster parents
- community partners agencies, private organizations and groups)
- health and mental health providers and
- various levels of government
- Go to www.ncai.org and
identify the tribes in your state/county. Write a 2 page paper
answering the question ‘If there are federally recognized
tribes in a state, what does that mean for child welfare when
implementing the Adoption and Safe Families Act and participating
in the Child and Family Service Reviews?’
Suggested In-class Activities
- Small group activity: Child welfare agencies do their work
in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, all of whom
should build a shared knowledge, language and values base. Discuss
possible strategies and mechanisms a child welfare agency manager
might use to assure that community partners are fully committed
to a family centered approach to serving children, youth and
families. What actions would s/he take to determine if the family
centered approach is commonly understood and implemented by community
partners? If gaps were uncovered, how could s/he resolve those
- Small group activity: identify key members of the child welfare
team and characteristics of successful cross agency case planning
and management. Ask students to work in the small groups to answer
questions such as :
- Who needs to be on the child protection team and why?
- Has the team changed since the implementation of ASFA?
- Is the team for children’s services different from
the team for adolescent services?
- Thinking back to successful program
efforts in which you have participated, what characteristics
made that collaboration work?
- Thinking back to successful case level collaborative efforts
in which you have participated, what characteristics made that
- What obstacles impede successful cross agency case planning
and management and how might you overcome such obstacles?
- Introduce ‘A Practice-based Planning Framework for Bringing
the Child Welfare Team Together’ and explain its usefulness
in linking effective practice and collaboration. (Source: Bringing
Together the Child Welfare Team, pgs 4.33-4.34, Trainer’s
Guide, September 27, 2002 . Available on the
internet at: www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/asfa).
- Read Jan’s Story (Jan’s Story highlights the inter-relationship
of domestic violence and child welfare. Source: Bringing
Together the Child Welfare Team,pgs 3.19-3.20, September
27, 2002 . Available on the internet at: www.muskie.usm.maine.edu/asfa).
Ask students to work in the small groups to answer the following
- How would you summarize the key facts in this story?
- What practice issues are raised by Jan’s case?
- What are the hoped for outcomes for Jan and her children?
- With which individuals and agencies will you need to collaborate
to support Jan in the achievement of those outcomes?
Process with the whole class.
- Bernstein, Nina. (2001). The Lost Children of Wilder:
The Epic Struggle to Change Foster Care. New York : Random
House. Part four.
- Hoel, James L. (1998). Cross-systems Collaboration:
Tools that Work. Washington , D.C. : Child Welfare League
of America . Presents a collection of effective principles
Supplemental Reference Material
- Cross, T.A., Earle, K.A., Simmons, D. (2000). Child Abuse
and Neglect in Indian Country: Policy Issues. Families
in Society, Vol. 81, No. 1, pp. 49-58.
- Fox. K.A. (2003).
The Collection of Data on the Abuse and Neglect of American
Indian Children. Child Welfare, 82, 707-726.
- Video: Spaulding for Children. (1995). Understanding the
Indian Child Welfare Act. Spaulding for Children, National
Resource Center for Special Needs Adoption, 16250 Northland
Dr. , Southfield , MI. #113, $95. This 17 minutes video presents
a straight forward presentation that highlights the provisions
of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
- www.aecf.org This is the
website for the Annie E. Casey Foundation and presents information
on its initiatives, publications and projects.
- www.futureofchildren.org This
website provides information about The Future of Children publication
and other resources.
- www .nicwa.org Provides
information about the National Indian Child Welfare Association,
its services and relevant publications.
- www.ncai.org/ This
National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) site identifies
tribes by state. Click on “Tribal Directory” and
then “Indian Nationals in the U.S. ” This will provide
a list of Bureau of Indian Affairs Regions. Choose your geographic
area and you will get a list of tribes in your state and adjacent