Solution Based Casework

Solution Based Casework (SBC) provides an overarching framework for public child welfare practice in Washington State. SBC is a family-centered practice model of child welfare assessment, case planning, and ongoing casework. The model focuses on specific everyday events in a family's life that create dangerous situations for their children, and establishes an approach for identifying behaviorally-specific changes needed to keep children safe.

The foundation of this framework is a clinical model that sets out the philosophy and theory of practice and directs agency staff toward family-focused practice. SBC combines problem-focused relapse prevention approaches that evolved from work with addiction, violence, and helplessness, with solution-focused models that evolved from family systems casework and therapy. Partnerships between family, CA caseworker, and service providers are developed to address basic needs and restore the family's pride in their own competence.

Under SBC, CA's work with families is anchored in the following three tenets:

  • Services should occur in partnership with the family and, where applicable, tribal child welfare staff.
  • Families encounter common everyday life challenges, and dangerous behaviors and safety threats occur within the context of everyday life. Service planning for prevention must be directly tied to those specific challenges, behaviors, and threats.
  • Case planning must target the reinforcement and development of situation-specific behavioral relapse prevention skills.

Service providers will assist families to implement behaviorally specific plans of action that address safety concerns at the family and individual level. All services will be based on Solution Based Casework values and practices:

  • Respectfully engage families in change at every opportunity.
  • Work with children and their families towards increased safety of the child.
  • Identify existing strengths of the family and individuals in the family, and how these strengths can be built on to achieve the service goals CA has identified.
  • Identify triggers, early warning signals, and skills to avoid, cope, and escape harmful behaviors.
  • Develop a relapse prevention plan with the family and CA.
  • Intervene based on the unique needs of the family and individuals in the family.
  • Develop individualized service intervention plans using service assessments to meet the CA identified service goals.
  • Help the family achieve sustainable change in order to establish and maintain safety in the home.

More information about Solution Based Casework can be found at:

BrochureSafe Kids, Healthy Families through Solution Based Casework

Contact: For more information, email