TXPOP Practice Model Tools & Resources

The TXPOP practice model defines practice behaviors for child welfare professionals. The model includes values, strategies, and tools that operationalize activities that promote child safety, permanency, and wellbeing for children in foster care. The model places children and families at the center of case planning and decision-making in a highly intentional way. An agency leadership and supervision model as well as a caregiver model accompany the practitioner model.


A Genogram is a visual representation of a family that shows information about people and their relationships. Creating a genogram with the family allows the family an opportunity to explore and define their social relationships and you the opportunity to acknowledge them as the practitioner.


Chat Box is used to facilitate a balanced discussion with any stakeholder while also gathering information. It is most often used by the case manager in their conversations with parents and in their monthly contacts with caregivers. The tool is grounded in three questions that focus on worries, strengths, and what needs to happen.


The Family Introduction helps children learn about the people they will be staying with while they are in care. It helps prepare the child and provides the child with some of the information they need to support the transition. The Family Introduction is shared with the family which helps to build connections between the two families and provides information to the child’s family about who is caring for their child. When there is a slower introduction between the families, the child’s family can also create a Family Introduction for the caregivers.


The Transition Object is a comfort object such as a stuffed animal, picture, or other important object that the child can use during times of transition. The adults help guide the child in choosing a Transition Object. Use of the Transition Object can provide the child with a sense of consistency, reduce anxiety, and provide some familiarity during a transitional event or times of change.


Three Houses is used to help workers understand children’s and young people’s views about what is happening in their lives and what they would like to see happen. The tool offers a method for case managers to easily organize their interviews with children and the information they learn in a way that everyone involved in the case can understand. The Three Houses tool allows the practitioner to hear the child and then share their voice with families, foster families, and networks.


Network Meetings are meetings that are held early and often to involve families and their network in assessment and planning for the child’s safety, permanency, and wellbeing. Meetings help the family and network reorganize itself to ensure there is a clear, practical, and rigorous plan to keep the children safe, stable, and cared for now and over time. Network meetings involve families and their natural supports.  They can also include professionals when needed but these meetings are designed to emphasize family inclusion.


Often, families and/or foster families may be reluctant to involve a network for a variety of reasons. The Network Finding Matrix is a tool that can be used internally by child placing agency staff to prepare for conversations with families or caregivers when, for a variety of reasons, they are reluctant to develop their network.


Network Circles is a tool used to help caregivers think through how to begin identifying who could be a part of their support network. The tool consists of three concentric circles that the caregiver uses to categorize who is in their network, who they want to add to their network, and who they don’t want in their network.


Family Notes is a communication tool that families and caregivers use to communicate to each other about how the child is doing. Family Notes can be developed in any format, including a physical notebook that is kept with the child or online notes sent through text message or email.


The Future House helps caregivers think about what they want for their family and identify specific steps to reach their goals. It can be used to help caregivers manage struggles, or it can be used proactively to think about what they want their home to be like. This is a creative and often fun activity that everyone in the family can have a part in developing.

Words & Pictures Explanation

Words and Pictures Explanation is a shared story developed between the parents and the case manager to explain concerns to the child. The process involves and speaks directly to children. Case managers and families work collaboratively to create a narrative with pictures. The goal is to answer for the child, “How did things get to be the way they are and what are we all doing about it?”


Case Map is the assessment framework used in the model and is a participatory process for everyone involved in the case. The map organizes key information known about a child and family at any given time into key domains relevant to the goal of enhancing ongoing safety, permanency, and wellbeing for the child. This information is then used to develop a clear, detailed, action-oriented plan. The Case Map includes a timeline for the family to move towards and eventually achieve the safety goal.


Creating Family Safety Plans is a process for working with all stakeholders in the case to develop and implement collaborative, understandable, achievable, and behaviorally based safety plans that enhance the protection of children on a day-to-day and ongoing basis. Family Safety Plans create a process to ensure that when children are reunified, everyone involved in the child’s safety network knows how to identify warning signs that the children are at danger/risk and knows how to mitigate the danger/risk. Safety planning is used to ensure safe visitation between children and parents while the child is in foster care. This plan can help establish a blueprint for what should happen to mitigate future risk to the child after reunification, which helps prevent foster care re-entry.


Personal Support Plan is an action plan for youth who demonstrate challenging behaviors such as being defiant, running away, using drugs or alcohol, self-harming, or exhibiting suicidal ideation or aggressive behaviors. The plan involves a worksheet that helps practitioners guide the family and youth through the planning process.


Safety Journal is a notebook, email chain, or other document facilitating communication between everyone involved in visitation or other contact between children and parents. The focus of the communication is to document successes in developing and following the plan, as well as challenges in the plan and steps taken to resolve problems.


Safety Object is a nonverbal means by which a child can communicate feeling worried or unsafe to adults who they know will then take action to deal with their concerns. The child and their support network choose the safety object together and place in a specific location. When the object is moved by the child, the adults in the network check in with the child to see if action is needed.


Words and Pictures Plan is a tool to help children understand the most important aspects of the Rigorous Plan. This plan transforms the Rigorous Plan into words and pictures that the child can understand and includes key rules, contact information for safety network participants, and a description of the safety object.


Safety House is a tool for involving children and young people in the safety planning process. This tool gathers information from the child’s perspective and involves them in identifying who the people are that keep them safe and what they do to keep them safe. The completed Safety House is brought to the parents and the network to inform the planning process.


TXPOP will develop and test a practice model for public and private child welfare agencies in Texas to use to engage children and their families in achieving positive permanency outcomes. This model encourages professionals to approach their work and interactions with others from a nonjudgemental stance with a goal of sharing power with families.

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