Larimer County Department of Human Services (LCDHS), in partnership with Colorado State University Social Work Research Center and the community, is eager to develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-level, interagency community coalition-designed approach to reduce the number of children who experience maltreatment throughout Larimer County. The project will operate at both the systems and family level. Activities at the systems level will focus on coordinating existing collaborations throughout the county, increasing knowledge and awareness of social and environmental risk factors for abuse and neglect, and expanding the prevention services continuum. The family level approach, relying on families as experts, will utilize a care coordination and system navigation model designed to support families in the development and improvement of protective factors, increase support networks, and ensure access to needed services and supports. The Supported Families, Stronger Community (SFSC) project provides an tremendous opportunity to maximize momentum from existing county-wide collaborative efforts and to mobilize resources to add an essential and innovative new prevention dimension.
Two primary assumptions underlie the SFSC theory of change. Assumption 1: Local service providers and families have untapped insights about local service gaps, capacities, and barriers. Assumption 2: Families in Larimer County have unmet needs and unresolved trauma that can be lessened by protective factors that support individual and community resilience.
The project will utilize the Protective Factors Survey as a means of measuring community and individual well-being. The project will demonstrate effectiveness through a reduction in maltreatment referrals and child welfare case involvement. LCDHS is committed to partnering with families and the community to develop systems that meet the unique and individualized needs for each family and child at risk; a system that instills hope and creates sustainable change through increased resilience supported by system coordination, care coordination, and continuous quality improvement processes, while honoring family participation and individual voice.