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August 2012Vol. 13, No. 7Practice Model Overview

Below is an overview of recent publications about State practice models, their implementation, or evaluation. To find more articles and publications about practice models, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway library:  

Evolving Differential Response Practice Models
As of July 2011, at least 15 States were in the process of or had fully implemented a differential response (DR) practice model. That same year, the Children's Bureau's Quality Improvement Center on Differential Response (QIC-DR) released an issue brief providing an overview of DR practice models in four States: Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, and Vermont.

Rather than advocate for a particular model or approach, the brief simply summarizes draft model components. Evolving Models of Practice and Differential Response Systems is available on the QIC-DR website: (854 KB)

Colorado's Child-Centered Model
Developed by 32 child welfare professionals, stakeholders, and consumers, Colorado's practice model is child-centered, family-focused, and culturally competent in its approach. The practice model provides standards of practice for every level of service and specific tasks for service delivery, in addition to organizational standards and practice model skills. The State is conducting a staged rollout of the model in groups of counties over the next 3 years and plans to fully implement the practice model by 2015.

Colorado's Practice Model: Excellence in Child Welfare Services is available on the Colorado Department of Human Services website:

Michigan's Family Engagement Approach
In February 2012, Michigan's Bureau of Child Welfare released a revised version of MiTEAM: Michigan's Child Welfare Practice Model. The paper outlines Michigan's Department of Human Service's (DHS's) unified approach to family engagement, clarifies roles and expectations for staff, and explains child welfare interventions and service delivery. The practice model places a strong emphasis on teaming, engagement, assessment, and mentoring.

The MiTEAM practice model is available on the DHS Child Welfare Training Institute website:

Family-Center Practice in Maryland
An evaluation of the implementation of Maryland's Family Centered Practice (FCP) model was released in 2011. The evaluation was conducted by the University of Maryland School of Social Work, the Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children, and the Maryland Department of Human Resources Social Service Administration. Data was collected via focus groups with staff and families and a survey of department staff. The use of the Local Supervisory Review Instrument and success indicators associated with FCP implementation are also discussed, and recommendations for program improvement in each area are provided.

Evaluating the Implementation of Family Centered Practice in Maryland, July 1, 2010-June 30, 2011 is available on the Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children website:  (1 MB)