Pilot CWS-R-SAP – v. 2 Redesigned System, 5.4 Therapeutic Day Services


Pilot Child Welfare System Redesign

Strategic Action Plan


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5.4 Therapeutic Day Services


The Redesigned Child and Family Support System has three options for action when a child has been “founded for assault/battery or criminal neglect”:


Option 1: Leave the child at home, with a Safety Plan AND appropriate In-Home services AND mandatory weekly visits to the home where the child must been seen and talked to at every visit.

  • The Caseworker determines whether this option is best for the child, and a Family Services Worker is assigned to ensure the Safety Plan and the In-Home services are arranged, in place, and utilized.


  • The Family Services Worker visits the child and family weekly, checking on the status of the Safety Plan and the In-Home services, meets and talks with the child, and includes in the child’s record pictures of the child and the home, notes from all discussions with the child and family, status of the Safety Plan and the In-Home services, and recommendations as to whether the plan appears to be in the best interests of the child, or if an alternative plan should be investigated.


  • The Caseworker is alerted if less than satisfactory results are indicated by the Family Services Worker in their instant automated report.


  • If the Family Services Worker encounters a threatening or dangerous situation in the home during a visit, the Family Services Worker immediately alerts 911, and law enforcement and the Caseworker immediately arrive on the scene to address the issue.


Option 2: Remove the Child.

  • Law Enforcement removes the child from the home, ensures the child is taken to the hospital by ambulance for physical and psychological examination and treatment orders


  • The Hospital, following examination and immediate treatment of the child, places the child in a Temporary Therapeutic Respite Home for recovery from physical and mental/emotional issues according to the physician and therapist guidelines


  • This option is explained in detail in Section 5.5 Removal to Recovery Care.


Option 3: Leave the child at home, with a Safety Plan AND appropriate In-Home services AND “Therapeutic Day Camp” for the child during the day returning home at night AND mandatory weekly visits to the home where the child must been seen and talked to at every visit.

  • This option is used when the child is believed to be safe at home (e.g., the abusing parent has been arrested, the abuser is actively working in an intensive behavior program, etc.).


  • With this approach, the child gains extensive therapeutic care in a safe environment during the day, yet returns home to the family at night, retaining the family bonding while receiving more expansive care and treatment for the child.


  • This section deals with this approach, called “Therapeutic Day Services.”


Therapeutic Day Services

The purpose of Therapeutic Day Services are:

  • Provide a safe environment for the assaulted/battered or criminally neglected child to recover and heal during the day, while returning home at night and weekends


  • Provide a trauma-based practice that teaches the child healthier responses to situations they encounter at home


  • Allow the child to “remain at home” during the evening and weekends, when the child is safe at home, thus providing continuing family support


Example of One Best Practice:

Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TCBI) is currently listed on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse (CEBC) registry for Child Welfare, and is rated as being “Highly” relevant in the child welfare system based upon the program being designed to meet the needs of children, youth, and families receiving child welfare services.[1]


“Developed by Dr. Karyn Purvis and Dr. David Cross at the TCU [Texas Christian University] Institute of Child Development, Trust-Based Relational Interventions® (TBRI®) is an emerging intervention model for a wide range of childhood behavioral problems. It has been applied successfully in a variety of contexts, and with many children for whom numerous other interventions have failed (e.g., medications, cognitive-behavioral therapies.) TBRI® is based on a solid foundation of neuropsychological theory and research, tempered by humanitarian principles. It is a family-based intervention that is designed for children who have experienced relationship-based traumas such as institutionalization, multiple foster placements, maltreatment, and/or neglect. … It is a trauma-informed intervention that is specifically designed for children who come from ‘hard places,’ such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, multiple home placements, and violence. TBRI® consists of three sets of harmonious principles: Connecting, Empowering, and Correcting. These principles have been used in homes, schools, orphanages, residential treatment centers and other environments. They are designed for use with children and youth of all ages and risk levels. By helping caregivers understand what should have happened in early development, TBRI® principles guide children and youth back to their natural developmental trajectory.”[2]


“TBRI uses Empowering Principles to address physical and environmental needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs and engagement, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI is connection.”[3]


TBRI is not the only Therapeutic Day Service available for assaulted/battered and criminally neglected children to attend while still remaining at home.


“The Title IV- E Prevention Services Clearinghouse was established by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to conduct an objective and transparent review of research on programs and services intended to provide enhanced support to children and families and prevent foster care placements.”[4]


See Section 5.3 for a description of some of the programs and services that have been rated “well supported” or “supported” by the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse.


[1] www.child.tcu.edu

[2] https://www.attachmenttraumanetwork.org/trust-based-relational-interventions-tbri/

[3] https://creatingafamily.org/adoption-category/adoption-blog/beginners-guide-to-tbri/

[4] https://preventionservices.abtsites.com/


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To submit questions or comments, please email Jo@Jo-Calk.com. I welcome all input, ideas, and suggestions. Thank you for caring for children.


Jo Calk