The PRIDE Model of Practice
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The PRIDE Model of Practice is designed to strengthen the quality of family foster care and adoption services by developing and supporting resource (foster and adoptive) families as partners in child protection. As a model of practice, PRIDE provides a standardized, consistent, structured framework for the competency-based recruitment, preparation, assessment, and selection of resource families, and for foster parent in-service training, ongoing professional development, support, and retention.
For over two decades, CWLA has offered the PRIDE Model of Practice to help both public and private child welfare agencies enable resource families to be partners in achieving child safety, well-being, and permanency outcomes. PRIDE was developed in partnership with Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and a broad coalition of foster and adoptive parents, public and private agency staff, educators, and other experts nationwide and internationally.
PRIDE is a competency-based model of practice that:
Child welfare agencies rely on resource families to protect and nurture vulnerable infants, children, and youths when their parents and kin cannot. These families have critical roles in providing direct care for abused and neglected children, often working with their birth families as well. It is because of these dedicated resource families that the effects of trauma are alleviated, the capacity to develop positive relationships is built, and essential life skills are developed. Because this work is life-changing and complex, resource families must have special strengths, knowledge and skills, and system and community supports. Best policies and evidence-based practices are necessary to find, develop, train, and retain them. PRIDE is an evidence-informed model that incorporates best child welfare practices, social work values, and CWLA Standards of Excellence. PRIDE is used in more than 30 states and 20 countries. The PRIDE network crosses a wide spectrum of geography, cultures, and socioeconomic conditions, recognizing that the needs of children and families know no borders.
- Meets the protective, developmental, cultural, and permanency needs of children placed with foster families and adoptive families.
- Strengthens families, whether they are families of origin, blended, extended, kinship, foster, adoptive, or members of a tribe or clan.
- Enhances the quality of family foster care and adoption services by providing a standardized, structured framework that uses preservice training to enhance family assessment (home study) and selection; for foster parent in-service training; and for ongoing professional development.
- Shares resources among public and voluntary child welfare agencies, colleges and universities, foster parent and adoptive parent associations, and child welfare organizations.
PRIDE's 14-Step Model of Practice
The PRIDE Model of Practice has three major components and 14 steps or activities within those components. The model begins with clarifying the agency's mission and the role of resource families in achieving that mission. Pre-service training is just one step, as is family assessment (home study). Agencies that choose to invest in the PRIDE Model of Practice are taught how to implement and integrate each of these steps in order to have a comprehensive, best practices approach to developing, assessing, selecting, training, and retaining resource families as partners in achieving child safety, well-being, and permanency.
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Integral to the PRIDE Model of Practice is the understanding that protecting and nurturing children at risk and strengthening all their families (birth, foster, or adoptive) requires teamwork among individuals with diverse and culturally responsive knowledge and skills, but all working from a shared vision and toward a common goal. Resource parents are essential members of this team. They, like caseworkers, require preparation and training to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to be effective in their work. The aim of the competency-based approach is to assure that resource families are willing, able, and have the resources to meet the needs of traumatized children and their families to the fullest possible extent.
There are five essential competency categories for resource parents:
The competencies were developed from a comprehensive analysis of the roles of foster and adoptive parents. They were grouped into the five categories which had been framed by the National Commission on Family Foster Care, convened in 1991 by CWLA and the National Foster Parent Association (NFPA) and published in the book, A Blueprint for Fostering Infants, Children, and Youths in 1990s. These competencies follow a progression of learning operationalized at the pre-service (prior to child placement) and core (within the first two years of service) levels, and continue through the development of advanced and specialized skills.
- Protecting and nurturing children.
- Meeting children's developmental needs, and addressing developmental delays (which includes health, intellectual growth, self-esteem, appropriate discipline, cultural and sexual identity, social skills, academic progress, as well as ameliorating the effects of trauma and other developmental challenges).
- Supporting children's relationships with their birth families (because whether children have a little contact, a lot of contact, or no contact with their families they have feelings about them, and best practice dictates that child welfare services promote healing between children and their families).
- Connecting children to safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime, permanency (because children need continuity, commitment, legal and social status that comes from having a family of one's own).
- Working as a member of a professional team.
One of the most compelling features of the PRIDE Model of Practice is that these competencies clarify what it is that resource parents are expected to know and be able to do for children in their care. A second compelling aspect of PRIDE is the relationship of the family assessment (home study) to these competencies. Disruptions occur when resource parents do not have the willingness, ability, or resources to fulfill one or more of these competencies.
The cornerstone of the PRIDE Model of Practice is the integration of preparation (preservice training) with the assessment of perspective resources parents to ensure that they have the willingness, ability, and resources to demonstrate these competencies. Prospective foster and adoptive parents sometimes have unrealistic ideas about what is expected of them, what the children will be like, and how the child welfare system works. But without the requisite strengths, skills, and supports, it is children who are treated like merchandise and returned to their agencies or worse, abused. Or, foster parents may be recruited, assessed, selected, and trained as full partners in child protection. But if that valuable role is not clear to all members of the agency then foster parents become frustrated when not treated with dignity and respect; they leave, the agency's image in the community is tarnished, and the recruitment cycle begins again.
The PRIDE Model of Practice recognizes that foster and adoptive parents are a rare, valuable resource. Without them, children who must be separated from their families of origin would not have the benefits of family living. PRIDE also emphasizes the belief that to be any kind of parent (birth, foster, adoptive) is a privilege, not a right; but for a child to protected, that is a right, not a privilege.
CWLA offers training and consultation to help agencies implement the PRIDE Model of Practice, typically in one of two ways:
(1) CWLA staff come to your agency and work with all staff responsible for family foster care and adoption services. Consultation begins with administrative leadership because training is only as effective as the policy that directs it and the supervision that reinforces the skills that are learned. Training is provided for staff responsible for recruitment, family assessment (home study), pre-service training, and selection of foster and adoptive parents, and for foster parent in-service training. Foster and adoptive parents who serve as co-trainers are included. Staff who match and place children with foster and adoptive parents also are included. This is the preferred technical assistance strategy to bring the PRIDE Model of Practice to your agency, because it assures that all members of the team are working from the same values and practice base, and as role reciprocals.
(2) CWLA offers open enrollment training around the country for staff who work with foster and adoptive parents. This open enrollment is designed for agencies already using PRIDE and need to have new staff trained in the PRIDE Model of Practice. University or college-based trainers who provide PRIDE pre-service or in-service training are welcomed.
(1) Agencies may purchase a PRIDE license that entitles them to duplicate the PRIDE materials for use within their agency. The license also gives agencies the right to receive new materials developed within their licensing period. For example, each prospective resource parent who participates in the preparation and assessment process receives a PRIDEbook that includes their resource materials. A license entitles an agency to duplicate as many of these copyrighted PRIDEbooks as needed during their licensing period.
(2) PRIDE materials may be purchased directly from CWLA. This option does not include the right to duplicate or copy the materials in any manner. For example, agencies would need to purchase individual PRIDEbooks for each of their prospective resource families.
The Handbook presents the 14-step process diagramed and described above. Each of the 14 steps is a chapter that includes the rationale for the step, the competencies staff need to implement the step, and the resource tools needed for implementation.
FosterPRIDE/AdoptPRIDE Pre-Service Preparation and Assessment (Integration of Training and Home Study) Products
PRIDE In-Service (Core) Training
- Trainer's Guide (2009 edition) provides content and direction for conducting the nine three-hour pre-service sessions. (A 2003 edition is available in Spanish.) The Trainer's Guide includes the content and process directions to implement the following nine sessions:
- Session One: Connecting with PRIDE
- Session Two: Teamwork Towards Permanency
- Session Three: Meeting Developmental Needs: Attachment
- Session Four: Meeting Developmental Needs: Loss
- Session Five: Strengthening Family Relationships
- Session Six: Meeting Developmental Needs: Discipline
- Session Seven: Continuing Family Relationships
- Session Eight: Planning for Change
- Session Nine: Making an Informed Decision: Taking PRIDE
- The PRIDEBook (2009 edition) includes all the resource materials (handouts) for FosterPRIDE/AdoptPRIDE participants. (A 2003 edition is available in Spanish.) The materials include worksheets for use during the sessions, a summary of session content, resource readings, and worksheets that link the training experience with family assessment and at-home consultations.
- The 35-minute DVD Making a Difference (also available in Spanish) for use in Session One that demonstrates the competencies essential for fostering and for adopting and explaining the differences between "making a commitment to be meaningful to a child's lifetime and making a lifetime commitment to a child."
- The 35-minute DVD Developing Family Resources (also available in Spanish) designed for use with staff to demonstrate family assessment strategies (home study) and how to integrate family assessment with pre-service training.
- The 35-minute DVD Foster PRIDE/Adopt PRIDE Program Vignettes (also available in Spanish) portrays 20 situations of children in foster families to promote discussion and learning in Sessions Two through Eight.
- The 17-minute DVD Family Forever, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, explains family foster care as a family-focused service, and is intended to promote a better understanding of how birth parents experience their children's placement (for use in Session Two).
PRIDE Core includes 11 competency-based in-service training modules, totaling 87 hours of training, and ranging in duration from 3 to 15 hours each. Each module includes a Trainer's Guide and a PRIDEbook. The Trainer's Guide provides the content and process instructions for leading the sessions. The PRIDEbook, which contain all the resource materials participants will use in the sessions and at home worksheets, a summary of session content, and resource readings.
Foster PRIDE Core resources include:
PRIDE Advanced and Specialized Training
- Module 1: The Foundation for Meeting the Developmental Needs of Children at Risk (12 hours)
- Module 2: Using Discipline to Protect, Nurture, and Meet Developmental Needs (9 hours)
- Module 3: Addressing Developmental Issues Related to Sexuality (3 hours)
- Module 4: Responding to the Signs and Symptoms of Sexual Abuse (6 hours)
- Module 5: Supporting Relationships between Children and Their Families (9 hours)
- Module 6: Working as a Professional Team Member (9 hours)
- Module 7: Promoting Children's Personal and Cultural Identity (6 hours)
- Module 8: Promoting Permanency Outcomes (12 hours)
- Module 9: Managing the Fostering Experience (6 hours)
- Module 10 (Under revision): Understanding the Effects of Chemical Dependency on Children and Families (15 hours)
- Module 11: Understanding and Promoting Child Development (3 hours)
- Module 12: Understanding and Promoting Preteen and Teen Development (6 hours)
Foster PRIDE Advanced and Specialized Modules provide ongoing professional development for foster parents who have completed PRIDE Core training. Advanced and Specialized modules build on core competencies to provide foster parents with resources and tools to respond effectively to complex situations or issues related to caring for children with particular conditions or life experiences. Adoptive parents will find the topics of interest, as this training addressed many issues common to both foster care and adoption.
Like the PRIDE Core modules, Advanced and Specialized Modules comprised one or more sessions, each of which is three hours in length. Each Advanced and Specialized module includes a Trainer's Guide and the PRIDEBook of participant resources for that module. The following Advanced and Specialized Modules are available:
For examples of how PRIDE is being implemented across the United States, in Canada, and overseas, please visit CWLA Publications, Children's Voice, and enjoy the columns titled "Working with PRIDE." The articles begin with the January/February 2010 issue.
For information or assistance with PRIDE, please contact Donna Petras or Julie Brite.
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