Coaching Guide

Module One: California Core Practice Model

California’s Core Practice Model is the foundational practice framework for child welfare services in California. The CPM clearly and explicitly addresses issues of race, equity, diversity and inclusion in its theoretical framework, values, practice, and leadership behaviors. This module provides the participant with source materials and assessment tools to assist the Director in understanding where the agency is in the implementation and maintenance of the CPM. It also helps the Director identify the elements of the California Core Practice Model and understand the leadership role in modeling the behaviors. There are four areas of concentration in the CPM and an implementation toolkit for each area: Organizational Readiness Building; Engagement, Relationship and Partnership; Workforce Development and Quality Outcomes and System Improvement.

Learning Objectives:

  • Knowledge: Name and summarize the core principles of the core practice model.
  • Skill: Display and facilitate implementation of the core practice model within agency structures to meet agency needs.
  • Attitude: Foster and practice core practice model leadership behaviors with colleagues and staff

Reading and Activities: 1-3 hours

Coaching: up to 2 hours


CALSWEC Core Practice website

CPM Overview and Behaviors

We Believe Video

CPM Snapshot

California Core Practice Model Leadership Assessment tool:

Professional Development Plan Template: Professional Development Plan Template

Integrated Core Practice Model Primer: Leadership

CFPIC REDI Resources

Segment #1: History, Purpose, and Principles of the California Core Practice Model

Reading: up to 1 hour

Coaching: up to 1 hour

Learning Objective

To be able to articulate the history, purpose, and principles of the core practice model.


  • The core practice model is central to the work that child welfare is using in the state of California. It is the overarching framework from which child welfare should be approaching their work.
  • All projects and initiatives should fit within the framework of the CPM so that staff can have a clear understanding about how their work fits within the framework and the behavioral expectations for working with children and families regardless of the specific project or initiative.
  • The CPM was implemented statewide in collaboration with counties, CFPIC, RTA’s, CWDA and CALSWEC and included:
    1. Director’s sessions to assist with implementation.
    2. Learning circles that included staff from each county to further develop the four key areas of Organizational Development and Readiness Building, Workforce Development, Building Relationships with Community Partners and Quality Outcomes and System Improvement;
    3. RTA development bootcamps; and some specific regional work for managers and staff by the RTA’s.

Coaching Session #1 ½ hour to 45 minutes

Introductions, getting to know you! The first coaching session should be done with the director and should focus on reviewing the Program Overview document and explaining and answering questions about the leadership program, the modules, the structure of the coaching program and giving them their first assignment.

  • Coach will ask the director to watch the We Believe video and review the CPM handouts for discussion during their next coaching session.
  • Coach should establish a time and location for the next coaching session.
  • Coach will identify a list of materials for the second coaching session with the director.


Completed before 1st coaching session:/p>

  1. Review the Child Welfare Directors Development Program Overview


  1. Child Welfare Directors Leadership Program Overview
  2. We Believe video.
  3. Handout of the California core practice model brochure including review of Foundational, Practice and Leadership behaviors

Preparation for next segment

Completed independently before 2nd coaching session all materials:

  1. View We Believe video.
  2. Review CPM brochure and leadership behaviors handout
  3. Director will complete the self-assessment tool.
  4. Director identifies areas of improvement and develops a list of priorities.

Segment #2: Core practice model self-assessment

Reading and Activities: 1 to 2 hours

Coaching: 1 hour

Learning Objective

The director will gain an understanding of how they can begin or support implementation of the CPM and how they can model the leadership behaviors that support CPM.

The director will be able to determine how their leadership can currently, and in the future, address race, equity, diversity and inclusion in their organization.


  • The director will have viewed the “We Believe” video and debrief with the coach about their thoughts about the video.
  • The director will have reviewed the handouts to develop an understanding of the different components of the CPM, i.e., theoretical basis, casework components, practice elements, practice behaviors and leadership behaviors.
  • Director will have participated in the self-assessment activity regarding their leadership style and the CPM.
  • Coach will debrief the results of the self-assessment with the Director.
  • Director should have identified the areas for improvement based on the assessment and created a list of priorities.
  • From the self-assessment and list of priorities, the creation of the Director’s professional development plan should occur between the director and the coach.
  • The director should have prioritized the areas and the coach should work on assisting them to identify activities and/or opportunities in which they can test out the new behaviors and report back to the coach on how things are going.
  • These areas of professional development should occur and be reviewed over the course of the coaching program to give the director plenty of time to address more than one improvement area and test the change over time.

Coaching Session #2 1 hour

Coach reviews the previous assignment(s) with the director, using reflective questions.

Coaching session should begin with a focus on reflective questions to elicit thoughts and discussion from the director about the CPM.

Reflection questions:

  • What are your thoughts about the video?
  • What are your values and what brought you to the field of child welfare and what values do you hold about children and families?
  • How do you intend to communicate these values to your staff?
  • What questions do you have about why or how the CPM was started?
  • What concerns do you have about how this would be applied in your day-to-day work?
  • What are your thoughts about the CPM framework and the specific behaviors identified for the different levels of staff?

Coach should then engage the director in a discussion about their self-assessment results.

Reflection questions:

walk through the following three questions with the director on the first prioritized area. Capture the information to assist in the creation of a professional development plan:

Wrap up reflections:

  • What’s currently working well or what are your strengths in this area?
  • What are your worries about addressing this area?
  • What needs to happen next so that you feel successful in this area?
  • Based on the responses to these questions the coach should work with the director to identify activities and/or opportunities to try out new behavior and test it over time with a plan to review how things are going with the coach at the next coaching session.
  • Did review of the CPM materials in this module impact your thinking about how you as a leader are currently, or in the future could address REDI in your organization?
  • How are you feeling about your results?
  • What, if anything, surprised you about the results of the self-assessment?
  • What do you think may be the most challenging area for you to improve in? What do you think will be the least challenging?
  • Would you consider engaging your team in this improvement effort and if so, how would you approach your team with this?
  • If your current organization has already begun CPM implementation, where are they at in this process?

Following the review of the assessment and the director’s prioritized areas to aIn what ways will you ensure that REDI is addressed?

Coach ends the session by looking at the next module LOs and activities and makes a plan with the director on activities to complete before the next session.


Between coaching sessions 1 & 2:

  1. Director will complete the self-assessment tool.
  2. Director writes a values statement.
  3. Director identifies areas of self-improvement and identifies priorities.

During coaching session #2:

  1. Creation of a professional development plan with the Director.


  1. CPM self-assessment tool
  2. Professional development plan template

Preparation for next module

Review National Child Welfare Workforce Institute resources:

  • Change & the Roles People Play
  • Get on the Balcony eLearning.
  • Organizational Culture and Retention
  • Organizational Environment
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Three Tools to Guide Change Efforts


  • Comprehensive Organizational Health Assessment, Summary of Measures from The Butler Institute
  • Organizational Effectiveness Quick Guide for Teams (2009), American Public Human Services Association
  • Continuous Quality Improvement Toolkit from the Child Welfare Information Gateway

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