Partners in Child Protection: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Assessment in Child Welfare

  • Adrienne Whitt-Woosley
  • Jessica Eslinger
  • Ginny Sprang


The Partners in Child Protection (PICP) project is a trauma-informed, evidence-based assessment and consultation program designed to support collaborative decision-making and service provision within the child welfare system. PICP is an academic-public child welfare partnership that utilizes state-of-the art assessment technologies to develop case plans that better promote the permanency, safety and well-being of children. PICP also supports decision-making through training, coaching, and consultation services provided to individual child welfare workers and service teams. The program serves trauma-exposed youth aged 0–18 who are actively involved in the child welfare system and includes two types of assessments—a comprehensive family assessment model and an individual trauma assessment model. Both assessment protocols employ overlapping methodologies designed to reduce bias and accurately identify areas of converging data to be targeted in case planning. PICP evaluation data indicates the successful identification of traumatic stress-related symptoms for referred children, the importance of applying a therapeutic jurisprudence framework when working with child welfare involved families, the reduction of risk rating scores for families receiving recommended services, and the utility of multi-method, standardized assessment approaches in child welfare. This chapter provides a description of the project, the assessment protocols utilized, and the implementation strategies applied to support and maintain the partnership. The incorporation of adequate structures to promote cultural sensitivity within the PICP project is also discussed.


Child welfare Trauma Assessment Partnerships 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne Whitt-Woosley
    • 1
  • Jessica Eslinger
    • 1
  • Ginny Sprang
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Kentucky Center on Trauma and ChildrenLexingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryCenter on Trauma and Children, University of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA

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