General Authority Priorities

The General Child and Family Services Authority has a number of priorities and initiatives.

Practice Model

Building on the strengths of families: the Practice Model

The General Authority's core principles provide for a partnership in prevention and permanency supported by the Practice Model. We do this in the spirit of building on the strengths of families, promoting hope and developing capacities for families and staff.

The authority has placed much of its effort and focus on prevention: working to prevent children from coming into care, while at the same time building on family strengths to provide care and support in their own homes.

The General Authority is committed to providing training, mentoring and support to assist agency staff so they may strengthen their work with families. As a result, in 2010, the General Authority embarked on the implementation of the Practice Model with its agencies and service regions.

The fundamental goal of the Practice Model is to work with families to keep children safe. The Practice Model uses research-based Structured Decision Making tools. The Structured Decision Making tools help to assess safety, risk, and families’ strengths and needs. In conjunction with these assessments, the Practice Model uses solution-focused engagement strategies and skills. These include Mapping, Danger Statements, Safety Goal Statements and behaviourally based case plans that are measurable and achievable for the family. These tools and approaches help to increase the transparency about what the worries are, what is working well, and what needs to happen next.

Click on the video for a general overview of the Practice Model.

A common definition of safety has been adopted by all General Authority agencies and service regions which incorporates all of the elements that need to be in place to ensure child safety. This definition is shared with families so they know what is expected of them, and gives families and workers a common language.

The General Authority’s commitment is to prioritize the Safety, Permanency, Belonging and the Well-Being of children. Safety is always a primary concern and includes the physical and psychological safety of children. The Practice Model ensures caregivers and children have an opportunity to engage with and participate in safety planning to ensure ongoing, sustainable safety. Permanency and Belonging is the intent to find permanent, sustainable connections, whether that is to family and community or to permanent placement outside the family home. This includes caregivers who are committed to helping children and supporting them in their transition to adulthood. Well-Being is a key goal--helping children maintain familiar connections, including school and community.

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