The California Child Welfare Core Practice Model (CPM)


In 2012, CFPIC was asked by the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) to engage California’s public child welfare community in an effort to develop a California Child Welfare Core Practice Model (CPM) as a framework to support our state’s child welfare social workers and leaders in sustaining and improving practice in all California counties. From the beginning, the goal of this work has been to create a practice model that guides service delivery and decision-making at all levels in Child Welfare. The CPM builds on the great work by integrating key elements of existing initiatives and proven practices such as the California Partners for Permanency (CAPP), Pathways to Permanency (the Katie A. Core Practice Model), and Safety Organized Practice (SOP). The California Child Welfare Core Practice Model amplifies the work that had taken place in California over the previous decade-and-a-half to improve outcomes for children and families in all counties across the state.

California Child Welfare Core Practice Model: Then & Now

Click below to learn more about California’s journey to develop and implement the Child Welfare Core Practice Model over the last ten years.

We Believe, 2013Learn. Connect. Model. Grow. 2022

What is the California Child Welfare Core Practice Model?

The California Child Welfare Core Practice Model (PDF file) is a statewide effort to develop and implement a framework to support child welfare practice and allow child welfare professionals to be more effective in their roles. The CPM is intended to guide practice, service delivery, and decision-making.

The CPM features:

  • A theoretical framework that helps child welfare workers and leaders better understand those they serve and engage.
  • Values that guide the implementation of casework components that promote collaborative interactions with clients and practice elements that can be operationalized by social workers in their practice
  • Practice Behaviors practice behaviors (DOCX file) and Leadership Behaviors leadership behaviors (PDF file) that are key to creating an environment that is conducive for the implementation of the Core Practice Model in all 58 California county child welfare agencies.

Click below for more detailed information.

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Who Are The CPM Partners?

CFPIC has played a pivotal role in convening California’s Child Welfare Directors, key training partners and national experts in the conceptualization and design of the Core Practice Model and in the development of a robust set of implementation tools that have enabled its installation and implementation across the state. These CPM partners include:

Funding sponsor of the Directors Institute and related activities.

Provides partnership and collaboration with Regional Training Academies (RTA's) to ensure CPM training and curriculum

Regional Training Academies

Partners providing ongoing support of CPM implementation support to the counties.


Sponsors providing ongoing support of CPM implementation support to the counties.

Supports the CPM through inclusion in their federal performance improvement plans.

CPM Advisory Committee

Child welfare directors provide ongoing guidance regarding the development and implementation of CPM.

CPM Faculty

Composed of current and former child welfare directors, consultants, and experts in CPM development and implementation, county staff experienced in practice model development, and RTA and CalSWEC staff.


Are you confused about the relationship between the Child Welfare Core Practice Model (CPM) and the Integrated Core Practice Model (ICPM)?  Are they the same?  Are they related?  How do they relate to one another and other approaches that are called Practice Models or Core Practice Models?  Here are some top-line messages that might help:

The Child Welfare Core Practice Model (CPM) is not different from, but is embedded in, the ICPM.

  • For California Child Welfare agencies, implementing the ICPM means installing and implementing the California Child Welfare Core Practice Model, that outlines behaviors throughout the time a family is involved in the system, ensuring its emphasis on engagement, relationship, and partnership behaviors in coordination with partner systems that are being asked to adopt the values, principles, and practice behaviors in the Integrated Core Practice Model.
  • There is a challenge to each child-and-family-serving profession to describe, install and implement a Practice Model approach—specific to their profession, to be combined within an Integrated Core Practice Model that defines how these professions should work together for the benefit of children, youth and families.
  • For CDSS, in its relationship with other agencies, implementation of the ICPM means supporting the implementation of the CPM in California Child Welfare agencies and promoting a parallel approach in the other child-and-family-serving professions, including Probation and Behavioral Health.

For a more in-depth discussion of the relationship between CPM and ICPM and the evolution of each, please review the attached document, “Whose Practice Model Is It?”