OKLAHOMA CAPITOL -- An evidence-based practice model was introduced today to the Oklahoma Commission on Human Services members at its scheduled meeting in Oklahoma City.
The practice model, which is evidence-based and ensures more consistent practices for child welfare staff in the assessments of families, will have its first phase implemented by the end of March 2009. Evidence-based practice refers to a decision making process which integrates the best available research, clinician expertise and client characteristics.
The model can lead to improved outcomes as staff work with Oklahoma children and families, a state official said.
Mark Nitta, program manager for the practice model implementation, told commissioners the initial training, which began in October 2008, provides child welfare workers the framework to be more efficient when they are assessing families, which will result in safer and healthier families. This will help in providing better resources to lead more independent and productive lives.
Training in the practice model will be implemented statewide and is estimated to be fully completed in 18-24 months. “The practice model will challenge every child welfare staff member to respond and react differently than they may have in the past. They, in essence, will develop a new culture in the way they deliver services.” Nitta said.
After 2 years and hundreds of hours of work, the state of Oklahoma made a decision to create practice standards and an accompanying practice model that would guide the work of the child welfare system from the time a case is opened through the closure of a case. The state of Oklahoma embarked on 2 processes intended to improve practice and ultimately to improve outcomes. Following the year long implementation of the practice standards in 2007, the state embarked on an effort to develop a practice model which embeds the practice standards and specifically describes the “what” of the day-to-day work.