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F: Program-centered <<>> Family-centered <<>>

At the basic
practice level, worker activities are prescribed by the procedures associated
with the program to which the worker is assigned. Children are clients of
specific programs that may include resources, services, and workers from
multiple departments within the agency. Although children can be clients of
more than one program, they typically are not.

For example,
clients of the foster care program are usually not clients of the adoption
program. Clients of the ongoing services program are not clients of the
investigation program. If a child’s status or situation change, he (or she)
transfers to another program better fitting his (or her) new status or

At the
intermediate practice level, practice incorporates workers doing what is needed
to achieve family outcomes prescribed by individualized case plans developed
jointly between the worker and the family. The family is the locus for services
development instead of the program.

At the advanced
practice level, expansion is to community centered practice. This does not mean
family-centered practice displaces program-centered practice or community-centered
practice displaces family-centered practice. Rather, it means practice becomes
fully three-dimensional.

practice is not an option, it is a requirement. Children cannot adequately cope
with their needs, problems, and vulnerabilities without the support and
assistance of a nurturing family. Families cannot adequately cope without the
support and assistance of a nurturing community. It is not possible to
appropriately and adequately protect children in the absence of community-centered

“Community” refers
to the array of services, opportunities, and resources available to and
accessible by the family. Child protection practice involves the identification
and, if necessary, development of the services, opportunities, and resources
required by each family. You and your agency or program may or may not be
directly involved in services provision. Rather, you assure the availability of
and the family’s access to the array of services, opportunities, and resources
needed to optimally respond to the family’s interests and needs. If “community
organization” is developing and organizing services, opportunities, and
resources for identified groups or sub-populations, community-centered services
is “community organization,” one family or child at a time.

How it works:

practice expands to incorporate family-centered approaches through the
development and implementation of individualized family case plans. In turn,
practice expands to incorporate community-centered approaches and strategies to
assure availability of and access to the services, opportunities, and resources
required by each family.

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