Mission and Transformation of the Department
In partnership with families and communities, the Department of Children and Families will advance the health, safety and learning of all children we serve, both in and out of school, identify and support their special talents, and provide opportunities for them to give back to their communities and leave the Department with an enduring connection to a family.
Six Cross-Cutting Themes:
- implementing strength-based family policy, practice and programs;
- applying the neuroscience of early childhood and adolescent development;
- expanding trauma-informed practice and culture;
- building new community and agency partnerships;
- improving leadership, management, supervision and accountability; and
- becoming a learning organization.
A New Child Welfare Practice Model and a Differential Response System:
The Departmentís Strengthening Families Practice Model, in development for the past two years with support from Casey Family Programs and Casey Family Services, is currently being rolled out and will be fully implemented Statewide in mid-2012.
The Strengthening Families Practice Model incorporates a focus on family strengths and protective factors and draws on the Strengthening Families framework being implemented across the nation. Core elements of the Connecticut Practice Model include family-centered practice, purposeful visits, family assessment and a family teaming model of engagement.
In March 2012, the Department is implementing a new Differential Response System to support families who have been referred for child welfare services but whose child safety risk level is low. Also in development for several years, the Differential Response System serves as a family-assessment rather than investigative gateway to child welfare services. State funds were allocated to support the provision of community services as part of the Differential Response System.
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