Partnering with Illinois DCFS to Improve Child Welfare Practices  

Supporting and evaluating implementation of the Immersion Sites Core Practice Model

A Core Practice Model provides a guide to practice, service delivery, and decision making. In the child welfare context, the goal of developing and applying a practice model is to improve the effectiveness of services and ultimately, outcomes for children and families. Since 2016, Chapin Hall has been working with Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to realize the potential of their Core Practice Model.   

The Illinois practice model is a comprehensive set of strategies to improve casework, supervision, and child welfare practices. The Model embodies nine key child welfare practices. 


 Training and coaching support for the Model consists of three components: 

Family-centered, Trauma-informed and Strengths-based Practice (FTS): The guiding principles of this practice are that the safety, well-being, and permanency of the child are paramount and acknowledging and supporting the parent’s strengths and protective factors. 

Model of Supervisory Practice (MoSP): This model focuses on upholding core competencies in the areas of administrative, developmental, supportive, and clinical supervision. 

Child and Family Team Meetings (CFTMs): These meetings support the development of an effective relationship between the child, family, and case worker to collaborate as partners to achieve goals related to safety, permanency, and well-being.  

Teams of permanency workers and supervisors at 62 Illinois sites are implementing the Core Practice Model. To support this implementation, Chapin Hall is monitoring the training and coaching of immersion site staff, and providing process measures, fidelity reports, and support for Continuous Quality Improvement. We also support partnerships with contracted providers to broaden the services for children and their families at these sites, and we respond to specific data analysis requests that can inform implementation. Finally, we conduct ongoing outcome evaluations of the Core Practice Model in Immersion Sites to assess the impact of the model for improving child and family outcomes. 

For more information about this project, please contact Policy Fellow Mary Sue Morsch or Research Fellow Dr. Brian Chor.