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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning Tribal Child Welfare Practice

What is Child Welfare Practice?

Child Welfare Practice refers to the way a child welfare agency works with families, youth and the community in delivering services that meet the unique needs of those being served by the agency. This “practice” is often written down and referred to as a Practice Model (a model of how the child welfare agency interacts and provides services to those being served by the agency).

How do I report Child Abuse and/or Neglect?

You do not have to know child abuse and/or neglect has occurred or is occurring, you just have to suspect that it has occurred or is occurring.  Once you suspect child abuse and/or neglect has or is occurring, report your suspicion to your local child protection services or local law enforcement.

What is a Child Protection Team?

Child Protection Teams are advisory in nature and are not intended to take the place of any agency in the community that provides services to children. Like Multidisciplinary Teams (see description below), CPT’s have representatives from a variety of agencies. CPT’s are protection oriented meaning they are designed to promote coordination, cooperation, communication, and consistency among community agencies in the protection against child abuse and neglect. CPT’s also promote prevention efforts.

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What is a Multidisciplinary Team?

A multidisciplinary team (MDT) is a team with representatives from a variety of disciplines (agencies) which meet to discuss child abuse and neglect cases. The people represented on the team may vary from community to community resulting in many different forms of a MDT. An MDT is defined as a prosecution based team, focusing on child abuse and neglect cases involved in the legal/judicial system.

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What is Family Centered Practice?

Family-centered practice is a way of working with families, both formally and informally, across service systems to enhance their capacity to care for and protection their children. It focuses on the needs and welfare of children within the context of their families and communities. Family-centered practice recognizes the strengths of family relationships and builds on these strengths to achieve optimal outcomes. Family is defined broadly to include birth, blended, kinship, and foster and adoptive families.

Taken from the Child Welfare Information Gateway at:

What is Family Preservation Services?

Family preservation services are short-term, family-based services designed to assist families in crisis by improving parenting and family functioning while keeping children safe. These services developed largely in response to the over-reliance on out-of-home care that characterized services in the 1970's. Family preservation services grew out of the recognition that children need a safe and stable family and that separating children from their families is traumatic for them, often leaving lasting negative effects. These services build upon the conviction that many children can be safely protected and treated within their own homes when parents are provided with services and support and empowered to change their lives.

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What is Family Group Decision Making?

Family Group Decision Making, brings together a child’s wider family group, who—in partnership with child welfare professionals—lead decision-making about how to best care for and protect their children. Family group decision making has been proven to safely reduce the number of children in foster care, decrease the recurrence of child abuse and neglect and keep children connected to their roots and culture, which provides stability and helps them reach their full potential.

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What is Case Management?

Case Managers coordinate the delivery of community services to families and caregivers of the children in care. Case Managers work with families and caregivers to access and coordinate services that are available and appropriate to the child’s situation. Service needs for a child in the home with a parent may vary greatly from the needs of a child that has been removed from a parent or caregiver.

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