The CWLA Standards of Excellence for Services to Strengthen and Preserve Families with Children emphasize the importance of supporting and strengthening all families, including those at-risk or involved with the child welfare system. The standards describe a continuum of supports and services that should be available to all families to assist them in protecting and caring for their children. The continuum includes prevention and early intervention services as well as services for families experiencing additional challenges or crises.
The standards employ a dual focus. They both describe a generic collaborative practice approach and present three specific service strategies:
• family resource, support and education services;
• family-centered casework services; and
• intensive family-centered crisis services.
Common to family centered practice and to each of these service strategies is the belief that children’s needs are usually best met within their families and communities and that, by working with families, we are most likely to achieve the best possible outcomes for children.