- November 2005
- Vol. 6, No. 9
Strengthening Caregivers' Protective Role
The Protective Capacity Assessment (PCA) model offers child protective services (CPS) workers a relatively streamlined process for case plan development when they are working with families who have substantiated abuse or neglect. As described in a recent article, the PCA model emphasizes ensuring that parents can keep their children safe on their own, rely less on CPS assistance, and find assistance from non-CPS resources and organizations. It focuses on what is keeping children from being safe and what can be done to restore or enhance caregiver capacity; the PCA does not address "why" and does not attempt to evaluate cause.
According to the PCA model, there are four steps in restoring the caregiver to the protective role:
- Preparation is initiated when the case is transferred from the investigation or initial assessment to ongoing CPS involvement.
- During the introduction, the worker introduces expectations, explains CPS involvement, and finds out about the caregiver, as well as the caregiver's concerns, focus, and perceptions.
- The discovery step involves a mutual decision about what must change with respect to foreseeable danger and diminished caregiver protective capabilities.
- Case planning is the product of mutuality and discovery and is reflected in conclusions about the current state of the caregiver's protective capacity, what factors must change, and the desired outcome.
The full article, "The Protective Capacity Assessment: More of a Process of Mutuality and Discovery Than an Evaluation," is part of the series of child safety articles available online from the Action for Child Protection website at http://action4cp.org/documents/2005/pdf/SeptPCAProcessMutualityDiscovery.pdf (PDF - 63 KB).