• July/August 2005
  • Vol. 6, No. 6

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Establishing Community Partnerships for Child Welfare

The movement toward partnerships between child welfare agencies and communities is based on the consensus that safety, permanency, and well-being for children are more successful when children and families are supported within their communities. Putting this concept into practice means that child welfare agencies must determine meaningful ways to partner with communities so that the responsibility for supporting families is broadly shared. Moving this vision from theory to practice is the focus of a recent series of articles from the Center for Community Partnerships in Child Welfare (CCPCW). The articles include the following:

  • "Establishing a Positive Community Presence for Public Child Welfare Agencies" describes strategies that agencies can use to facilitate partnerships with neighborhoods, such as outbasing workers or co-locating staff within other community agencies. An example is provided from Louisville, KY, in which staff from various agencies are housed together within the community.
  • "The Community Partnership Practice Model" describes an approach to preventing and addressing child maltreatment that involves the community and local agencies. This outcome-driven approach focuses on building a team to support the family, using comprehensive family assessments to identify strengths and challenges, individualizing services, and tracking results.
  • "Human Resource Management's Role in Recruiting, Hiring, and Retaining a Workforce Committed to a New Practice Model" argues that building community partnerships requires child welfare agencies to rethink the ways in which they recruit and train staff. Different competencies may be required for staff who work in community settings, as well as different management and appraisal models.
  • "The Pay-Off of Comprehensive Training" notes that both staff and community partners may require training. For instance, community partners may require training in such areas as advocacy, decision-making, and governance.

The full text of these articles can be found in the Spring 2005 issue of CCPCW's Safekeeping at http://www.cssp.org/publications/child-welfare/community-partnerships-for-the-protection-of-children/safekeeping-spring-2005.pdf (PDF - 390 KB).

 

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