(Above: Staff in our Wayne, West Virginia office work together to help a family involved in the child welfare system. The grid behind them is now digitized.)
Making decisions with and for the children and families served by the child welfare, juvenile justice and related systems is an enormous responsibility. The process also brings logistical challenges since families are unique and complex with many details that need to be considered.
For this reason, KVC uses its Safe & Connected™ integrated child welfare practice model developed by Sue Lohrbach, executive director of the KVC Institute for Health Systems Innovation. The model, built on decades of experience in child welfare, emphasizes organizing information to promote critical thinking and collaboration with the family and other stakeholders. This ensures a comprehensive, balanced assessment of risk with the outcomes of improved child safety, wellbeing and permanency.
Watch this video to learn more:
The heart of the approach is a large grid called the Consultation and Information-Sharing Framework®, or more often simply referred to as, “The Framework.”
Staff facilitate a conversation and complete The Framework on conference room walls covered in whiteboard paint. Information about family member relationships, the reason for referral, complicating factors, individual strengths and even so-called “gray areas” cover the wall from floor to ceiling, empowering staff to see the situation clearly and develop a strong plan. After the planning session, staff take a photo of the handwritten grid or type the information into a document.
That cumbersome process changed this past January when KVC’s Business Information Technology department along with a KVC Institute project innovation team created a new software program that digitizes the process. The Framework application is a living document that evolves throughout the life of a child, teen or family. The technology team designed it with the goal of ongoing conversations, encouraging critical thinking, and equipping service providers with prompts to enhance their social work practice.
Some of the key features and benefits of The Framework are:
- Easy access to information due to web-based platform, robust search and ability to upload photos and other documents
- Auto-formatting and built-in prompts speed up the process
- Tracking of action items for staff and families allows monitoring of progress
- Visual timeline organizes and displays events chronologically
In short, KVC’s Framework application allows social workers and other professionals to save time documenting and tracking, and instead invest their time and energy in the areas that require their gifts and insights: assessing, planning and implementing. This leads to improved outcomes for children and families.
KVC staff members nationwide started using The Framework in January, and had the following to say about the new tool:
- “Thanks so much for all the work you and your team put into this application. It works great and is beneficial to my staff and their teams in documenting their Safe & Connected sessions.”
- “I just completed 3 frameworks. Love this program!”
- “This online version is AWESOME!”
- “I had to discuss intensive rates and why KVC felt higher rates were not necessary. I quickly pulled up a previous framework to show that the child did not meet professional level rates. Great resource for staffings with our contractors.”
- “Yesterday a county attorney and two reps from our main referral sources were here and KVC was able to print off a copy when done. One partner sent out a special email saying how they need a program like that for their agency!”
- “Prints out beautiful and much better than our Word doc.”
- “Great reference tool to be able to search and pull up recent staffing quickly during crises and unscheduled staffing needs.”
- “Effortless and really an impressive improvement to how we were doing it!”
- “Really helps coordinating /illustrating needs for children.”
If you are part of a human-serving or child welfare agency, learn more about how Safe & Connected can help your employees and the families you serve.