Family to Family
Family to Family is an initiative started by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in 1992 to help states and communities improve their child welfare systems. Tehama County’s program began in 2005. The program’s goal is to improve results for children and families involved in the child welfare system by employing four key strategies: recruiting, training and supporting resource families; building community partnerships; facilitating team meetings that include the family in making the best possible placement decisions; and using self evaluation tools to determine where more changes need to be made.
The Family to Family Initiative was introduced to Tehama County in 2005. In hopes of achieving better outcomes for children and families, Tehama County embraces the basic principles of Family to Family:
- A child’s safety is paramount
- Children belong in families
- Families need strong communities
- Public child welfare systems need partnerships with the community and with other systems to achieve strong outcomes for children
With the core values in mind, Family to Family emphasizes safety, permanence, well-being and cultural continuity with the following outcomes:
- Reducing the number and rate of children placed away from their birth families
- Among children coming into foster care, increasing the number and rate at which children are placed in their own neighborhoods and communities
- Reducing the number of children served in institutional and group care
- Decreasing the lengths of stay of children in placement
- Increasing the number and rate of children reunified with their birth families
- Decreasing the number and rate of children re-entering placement
- Reducing the number of placement moves children in care experience
- Increasing the number and rate of siblings placed together
- Reducing any disparities associated with race/ethnicity, gender or age in any of the outcomes
This work is achieved with the development of county workgroups, focused on the implementation of four core strategies:
- Building Community Partnerships - Building relationships with a wide range of community organizations and leaders in neighborhoods, and collaborating to create an environment that supports families involved with the child welfare system.
- Team Decision Making – The involvement of a team in all placement decisions, to include not just foster parents and caseworkers, but also birth families and community members to ensure a network of support for children families.
- Support, Development and Recruitment of Resource Parents – The support and recruitment of resource families in and from the families’ communities.
- Child & Family Services Review – The collection and analysis of data, including on key Family to Family outcomes, to assess whether progress is being made and to determine how policy and practice needs to be changed to bring about further improvement.