TOC Next Previous E: Staff-determined <<>> Services-determined <<>> Protocol-determined

At the basic practice level, the protection of children is accomplished through the allocation of resources, including the provision of services either by workers from appropriate departments or by workers from outside agencies identified to provide specific services. Emphasis is on having sufficient trained workers available, either internally or externally, to follow relevant procedures in relation to the services to which the child is assigned. Child protection is staff-centered, assuring trained workers are available to provide procedurally defined services.

An example of a procedurally defined service is administering a complete “risk assessment” for every family “assigned” for investigation after initial screening. The complete service is delivered with no further regard to whether the assessment is needed. The worker is not permitted to abbreviate, expand, or modify the process once it has been initiated.

At the intermediate practice level, emphasis expands to incorporate the availability of the specific services needed to adequately serve each child. The criterion is delivering the right service at the right time to the right child.

The perspective expands from the staff delivering the services to the services being delivered in relation to individual children and their needs. The goal is developing an array of services that can be mixed, modified, and blended in highly individualized ways. Services need to fit the needs of individual children. Additional services need to be quickly accessible when children require atypical services or services only rarely needed.

At the advanced practice level, practice expands to incorporate intervention protocols. These protocols are based on best practices, given the individual situation, condition, and circumstances of the child being served. The protocols evolve over time as research and theory development proceed and knowledge and understanding improve.

How it works:

At the basic practice level, emphasis is on assuring there are sufficient trained workers to deliver prescribed services. At the intermediate level, the emphasis expands to incorporate assurance the services array is responsive to the needs and interests of the individual children being served. At the advanced practice level, this assurance is then integrated with protocols based on and incorporate best practice.

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