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July/August 2024Vol. 25, No. 6New Framework Highlights Holistic Prevention Strategies to Support Family Well-Being

The child welfare industry is increasingly prioritizing and investing in prevention—strategies that equip families with the tools and resources they need to thrive before their situation escalates to crisis. In support of these efforts, Chapin Hall, in partnership with the Doris Duke Foundation, developed a strategic framework to develop an integrated child and family well-being system. It provides an overview of the greater vision while outlining specific steps needed to achieve it.

The Meeting Family Needs Framework is anchored in two foundational conditions for change:

  • Shared leadership with communities and lived experience
  • Collaboration, synergy, shared ownership, and accountability

In addition to the two conditions, the framework highlights six components of systems change:

  • Strategic service expansion: Expand supports and services to meet families’ basic needs.
  • Eligibility expansion: Increase the number of families who are eligible to receive supports before a crisis occurs.
  • Enhance accessibility: Reduce administrative barriers and red tape. 
  • Family-centered practice: Expand workforce capacity to use family-centered practices that result in higher engagement.
  • Community-centric delivery: Partner with communities to deliver services and establish culturally responsive service arrays.  
  • Narrow child protective response: Reduce child welfare intervention to only cases with safety risks.

There are several approaches leaders and communities can take to using the framework, including using it as a catalyst to build stronger collaborations with people with lived experience and across agencies; create, expand, or sequence action plans; and engage the child welfare community in existing work by the health, human services, and caregiving systems.

Chapin Hall offers a variety of resources related to the framework, including a webpage, the full framework, the framework "at a glance," and a one-page overview. Future work will include briefs on each of the six systems change components.