Case Planning


  • Case Planning for Families Involved with Child Welfare Agencies: Summary of State Laws
    This document from Child Welfare Information Gateway, current through June 2008, provides information about state laws that address child welfare case planning.

  • Child Welfare Policy Manual Section 8.3C.1
    Questions and answers concerning case plan requirements in Title IV-E of the Social Security Act.

  • Tough Problems, Tough Choices: Guidelines for Needs-Based Service Planning in Child Welfare
    The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Casey Family Services, American Humane's Children's Services, the Institute for Human Services Management and the American Bar Associations Center on Children and the Law announce the publication of a unique casework resource. The book is designed to help child welfare professionals develop child-and family-specific case plans by providing a structured tool for making case decisions and service plans, a training guide for staff development, and a means for achieving agency-wide consistency in case planning.

  • Some Questions to Guide Permanency Hearings
    The National Child Welfare Resource Center on Legal and Judicial Issues has published this list of questions for judges to ask. It could easily guide a worker in (1) thinking about the case plan and (2) developing a court report that addresses those questions.

  • Improving Permanency Hearings: Sample Court Reports and Orders
    Also from the NRC on Legal and Judicial Issues, this document outlines the “nuts and bolts” of effective permanency hearings, including the issues to be addressed in each hearing and forms that provide a record of the agency's recommendations and the court's decisions.

  • Babies, Toddlers, Foster Care, and the Courts
    Two important resources from Zero to Three:

  • Participatory Case Planning in Child Welfare Services: A Resource Guide
    This resource guide from the Northern California Training Academy is based on an extensive literature review of participatory case planning with families in the child welfare system. The goal of the guide is to use the elements of participatory case planning shown in research along with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of the process and to provide strategies to increase the usefulness and value of these elements.

Resources from the States

  • California: Sacramento County
    Youth Involvement in Case Plans, Court Hearings, and Administrative Reviews
    This guide emphasizes the benefits of youth involvement in developing their case plans and explores different considerations when developing a case plan. The need to consider reunification is discussed, as well as adoption and legal guardianship. Information is provided on facts and reasons for adoption, key issues to address when considering adoption, questions to consider when exploring legal guardianship, and reasons why long-term foster care is discouraged as a permanency option. A fact sheet is included that reviews considerations for youth transitioning to emancipation.

  • Iowa
    Case Planning in Child Welfare

    Practice tips for caseworkers.

Trainings and Training Curricula

  • CORE 102 - Casework Process and Case Planning in Child Protective Services
    This curriculum is part of the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Program, from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work.

  • Adoption Safe Families Act Curriculum
    This curriculum from the National Resource Center in Child Welfare Training & Evaluation includes a module on case planning. All training materials are available to download.

  • Common Factors in Case Management with Children & their Families
    This free online training module is available through the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare at the University of Minnesota. The module describes four common factors to use in case management with children and their families. The common factors model identifies and documents four elements of psychotherapy associated with good outcomes. The module guides viewers to develop skills in using the four factors with children and families. The option of earning Continuing Education Hours is available – this requires a processing fee. (2010)

NRCPFC Information Packets



  • National Foster Care Review Coalition
    The mission of the National Foster Care Review Coalition (NFCRC) is to serve as a national coalition of independent foster care review programs to ensure, through individual case review and advocacy for systemic change, the safety, well-being, and timely achievement of permanency for children in foster care by: Informing and influencing individual state and national policy makers, as well as the public; promoting the establishment of an independent review system in each state to assess the status of these children; and, supporting the work of active independent review systems. The website provides information on Independent Foster Care Review, a Publications section, and a Contact Us section with contact information for State Programs and a message function for contacting the NFCRC.


Last updated 4/11/11