Parents as the Primary Clients of Child Protection
One is that parents, not children, have become the primary clients of child protection.
This mission U-turn started in the 1990s when Seattle-based Casey Family Programs developed an alternative to child protection, known elsewhere as Differential Response but as Family Assessment (FA) in Minnesota.
The premise was that child protection programs are intrusive and adversarial, so more ‘family friendly’ approaches were needed.
When Casey made training and evaluation dollars available to implement this approach, 35 states responded.
Among other changes, FA does away with traditional fact-finding protocols. This makes parents more comfortable – and children less safe.
Despite recommendations to reform FA practices, they continue to be used in Minnesota.
Next week: What researchers say about FA.
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