DCF: Mission and Transformation of the Department

Mission and Transformation of the Department


"Working together with families and communities for children who are healthy, safe, smart and strong."

Seven Cross Cutting Themes:
  1. implementing strength-based family policy, practice and programs;
  2. applying the neuroscience of early childhood and adolescent development;
  3. expanding trauma-informed practice and culture;
  4. addressing racial inequities in all areas of our practice;
  5. building new community and agency partnerships;
  6. improving leadership, management, supervision and accountability; and  
  7. 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.