Question: What are the roles of a Provider and Child Welfare Worker for both the alternative and traditional tracks under Differential Response?
Answer: The Provider and Child Welfare Roles Subcommittee recently completed their work. The group, made up of Community Partners, Child Welfare and Self-Sufficiency staff developed clear definitions of roles and expectations of Provider and Child Welfare staff under Differential Response (DR). The final plan nicely outlines the interaction between workers, partners and families. I have attached the step-by-step guide created by the subcommittee for your convenience.
It is important to note again that collaboration is at the center of our work in Child Welfare. Together we will develop supportive relationships with each other and the families we are serving. To facilitate this, training will be provided to child welfare staff and providers to help foster common understanding of our roles in this work.
The goal of DR is to insure child safety and maintain children at home whenever possible. Creating connections for families in the community is an important component of this effort. The parent voice is also a critical element of keeping children safe. Our ability to collaborate with families in creating and maintaining safety of their children is directly related to our collective success. To accomplish this, we identify the parent as the expert of the family and work closely with them to make decisions. The role of the CPS worker and Provider is to facilitate collaboration and be the partner the family needs to achieve child safety and community connection.
The CPS worker’s primary role is to ensure child safety by completing a comprehensive safety assessment, and to identify the presence or absence of moderate to high needs in the family. As laid out in the guide the subcommittee created, the worker will engage in several activities to make this determination.
The role of the provider is to assist in identifying service needs the family has and to then assist them in accessing services in the community. The provider will also be responsible for completing the strengths and needs assessment on those families identified as having moderate to high needs with safe children. Several provider specific activities are included in the summary document the subcommittee created to fulfill this role.
With a little over a month until families begin being served through the differentiated system in Klamath, Lake and Lane Counties, I understand the healthy anxiety being felt in the field regarding DR and your roles and responsibilities. We will continue to provide you with the information you need to be successful in this very important work. Please continue to read our weekly messages and stay tuned for training announcements.
On a different but very important topic, we have posted the Differential Response rule changes and they are open for comment. Please take a moment to look at these. We need your comments and observations.
As always, please send me your questions and thoughts as we move through this system change. I look forward to hearing from you.
Provider and Child Welfare Roles Subcommittee:
Ashley Woodcock, Community Provider
Ruth Taylor, Community Provider
Paula Warr, Child Protective Services Supervisor
Chris Phillips, DHS, Child Welfare Program
Lawrence Piper, DHS, Self-sufficiency Programs
Leslie Johnson, Resource Development manager
Larry Merritt, Human Resources
Jeremy Player, District 11 Manager
Phillip Blea, Community Provider
Dana Torrey, DR/Child Safety Consultant