What is the C.A.R.E.S. Model?
Reviewing the body of work of evidence-based and best practices in child welfare, Family-Centered Practice and Wraparound are two of the best known. Family-Centered Practice is a way of working with people that values individuals and family. It ensures safety, permanency, and well-being through eliciting family involvement, building on strengths and utilizing the family’s values, culture and preferences. Their emphasis on key principles are relevant not only in our work with children and families, but we felt applied to all our work. We approach agencies, professionals, our team, and the families with whom we work, in a framework we are pioneering.
The C.A.R.E.S. Model represents this framework for how Collaboration, Affirmation, Respect, Empathy and Support wrap around our work and interactions with others.
C.A.R.E.S. has four primary skill areas that must be learned and applied when working with children and families.
Partnering Skills: skills to initiate, build rapport, and collaborate with families.
Listening Skills: skills for reflective and active listening techniques to gather information from the families and used throughout sessions to gain understanding.
Focusing Skills: skills to keep sessions focused and on track, even during emotional or problem situations.
Resolution Skills: skills to help the family take the next steps in resolving their issues that lead to the safety concerns.
Paradigm’s core tenants of C.A.R.E.S. ensure that we are focused on family engagement and family involvement; we are strength-based in our assessments, and we provide full disclosure to the families through our openness and respecting them as partners. We remain mindful of:
- Engaging and involving the family is a skill that is necessary to achieve our goals.
- Remaining sincere, honest about partnering with the person you are interviewing.
- Helping the caregiver regulate their emotions.
- Helping you understand the caregiver’s perspective and their agenda.
- Helping the adult caregivers stay calm and work together.
- If the family is not partnered with you (e.g. engaged and involved with you and the process) there may be limited movement or accomplishment of the ultimate goal of safety for children and youth.
- Listening to, understanding, and validating the family’s perspective and feelings is vital and necessary in accomplishing an effective interview.
- You must always strive to partner with the family and go at their pace while conducting your interview. (Be in the moment with the family, you may need to stop and regroup with the family before you move forward).
- You need to evaluate your partnership in regard to the family’s engagement and involvement throughout the interview and every time you meet with them.
- You have an agenda AND the family has their agenda. You need to make sure that you are listening, understanding and integrating their agenda with yours.