|Introduction to Family-Centered Practice: A Curriculum
During 2009 – 2010 the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections partnered with Building Professional Social Work in Developing Countries to develop a Child Protection curriculum for social work faculty in Indonesia under a contract with Save the Children. This was a unique opportunity to work with social work faculty in Indonesia to develop introductory curriculum that highlight the concepts of permanency and family-centered practice.
The curriculum grew out of research conducted by Save the Children on the Quality of Care in Childcare Institutions in Indonesia. According to the Executive Summary “Someone that Matters” the research showed that despite a stated on supporting orphans, almost 90% of children in the childcare institutions surveyed had at least one parent with more than 56% having both parents alive. Less than 6% of the children in the institutions assessed were true orphans (lost both parents). No information was available about the parental situation for the remaining 4%. The research showed that children were placed in the institutions by their own families primarily as a result of their economic situation and mostly in order to secure their education.
The curriculum was developed and reviewed by a group of Indonesian social work faculty to determine the relevance of concepts and cultural competency. Based on that review the curriculum was modified and five modules were developed. Social work faculty and Save the Children staff provided the content and presentation for the historical and legal framework and all case studies. Additionally, we collaborated on community mapping techniques used in Indonesia by two of the faculty committee members. In 2010 the curriculum was presented to 20 social work faculty over eight days of training. The training provided the faculty the opportunity to experience the curriculum as well as work on developing assessment tools and techniques that would be applicable in an Indonesian context. This was the beginning of developing Indonesian child welfare practice.
The unique component to this project was that the faculty agreed to a field work practicum where for a period of six weeks they were assigned a case of a child and family in an institution. This gave them the opportunity to test out the assessment tools and interviewing techniques presented in the training and adapt them accordingly. The practicum was extremely successful and faculty had a first hand opportunity to use the tools and techniques. At a follow-up meeting we were able to listen to case presentations and discussion the applicability of the curriculum to Indonesian social work practice.
The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections has modified the introductory curriculum into four modules for use in U.S. child
welfare organizations and universities. Information from the modules can be incorporated into child welfare organizations pre-service training. The National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections- NRCPFC is hopeful that colleagues in the U.S. will equally find this guide to be a useful product with students and with Local, State and Tribal child welfare workers currently in the field. The guide can be utilized in whole as it is written and taught in sequence or it can be used in part as modules or tools for training at the new worker or intermediate levels.