The Partnership Plan is an action tool designed for you to use to establish a strong team relationship between resource/foster/kinship caregivers and child welfare staff in order to help children in foster care thrive. The Plan is a cooperative effort and was developed jointly by the Quality Parenting Initiative, 20 participating California counties, the County Welfare Director’s Association and the California Department of Social Services. The purpose of the plan is to more clearly set out responsibilities and expectations for resource families/foster families and kinship caregivers, case workers, the courts and the Department of Social Services in working together for the benefit of children and families.
Most importantly, the goal of the Plan is to ensure that every child in our system receives excellent care while he or she is out of home and that all children and families receive the support they need to heal. This goal can only be accomplished through a respectful partnership in which the needs of the child take precedence over the interests of the adults or demands of the system.
This plan can be very helpful in several ways. Some possibilities for use are:
- At the time a child is first placed to discuss what his or her needs are and how they will be met. Discussing each element of the plan in this context can avoid confusion and disagreements and lay the ground work for a successful working relationship.
- To make expectations of new and existing caseworkers and caregivers concrete. Incorporating the responsibilities and expectations into recruitment, assessment, pre-service and ongoing training are important opportunities to shape and discuss future practice.
- To evaluate success in meeting responsibilities and expectations necessary for successful teamwork and accomplishment of the case plan goals.
We welcome your questions and comments and hope that you find this Partnership Plan a helpful tool in your work serving children and families.
All of us are responsible for the well being of children in the custody of child welfare agencies. The children’s caregivers along with the California Department of Social Services, county child welfare agencies, private foster family agencies, and contractors and staffs of these agencies undertake this responsibility in partnership, aware that none of us can succeed by ourselves.
Children need normal childhoods as well as loving and skillful parenting that honor their loyalty to their biological family and their need to develop and maintain permanent lifelong connections. The purpose of this document is to articulate a common understanding of the values, principles, and relationships necessary to fulfill this responsibility. The following commitments are embraced by all of us. This document in no way substitutes for or waives statutes or rules; however, we will attempt to apply these laws and regulations in a manner consistent with this agreement.