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March 2003Vol. 4, No. 2National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice

The National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice seeks to enhance the capacity of State and Tribal child welfare agencies to provide family-centered services for children and families, encourage community ownership of the safety and well-being of children, and support the delivery of coordinated services by child welfare agencies and community-based organizations.

States are offered training and technical assistance throughout all stages of the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs). The Resource Center provides technical assistance in the areas of:

  • Analyzing family-centered practice opportunities
  • Developing community stakeholder workgroups
  • Improving the case planning/case management process
  • Integrating the CFSR with regulations and standards
  • Expanding States' array of services
  • Evaluating family strengthening policies and practices of private provider agencies
  • Building collaborations with other service providers
  • Developing family group conferencing
  • Moving toward differential response

In January, the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice sponsored its Third Annual Meeting of State and Tribal Child Welfare Officials. This meeting, which focuses on the States' experiences of the CFSRs, highlighted the lessons learned from the first 32 reviews. Officials from approximately 45 States and 30 Tribes participated, and workshop sessions offered participants the opportunity for peer-to-peer, State-to-State technical assistance on such issues as: involving the Tribes in the CFSR, staff recruitment and retention, involving fathers in child welfare services, and improving the service array in rural areas. For meeting highlights, visit the Resource Center's website.

The Children's Bureau has asked the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice to take the lead in involving all of the Bureau's technical assistance resource centers in developing a guide for States to improve comprehensive family assessments, which are required in public child welfare services. The CFSRs have revealed that most States are experiencing challenges in providing comprehensive assessments, which are a key to developing a truly individualized service plan with families that addresses the underlying factors for child maltreatment and for improving children's safety, permanence, and well-being.

Contact the Resource Center at:
1150 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 638-7922
Fax: (202) 742-5394
Director: Elena Cohen

Related Items

Read these articles from previous issues of the Children's Bureau Express for more information on the National Resource Center for Family-Centered Practice and CFSRs:

  • "National Resource Center Helps Families Cope with Violence in Their Communities" (July 2002)
  • "Results of 2001 Child and Family Services Reviews Released" (October 2002)