Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model

About This Program

Target Population: All public and private child welfare staff (primarily caseworkers and supervisors)

Program Overview

The Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model is an approach to case practice that incorporates the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' vision, guiding principles, and the Key Caseworker Activities needed to implement the mission of leading Michigan in supporting the state's children, youth and families to reach their full potential. The model is a trauma-informed approach to child welfare practice based on the fundamental belief that all children deserve to be safe from harm, raised in loving, committed families, and provided the kinds of supports to build their well-being.

The Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model provides practice guidance on how to implement the core competencies (Teaming, Engagement, Assessment and Mentoring) and additional resources to support implementation and sustainment. The model is a vehicle for unifying practices with private agencies, tribal partners, policies, training, and other organizational resources within social and health services departments.

Program Goals

The goals of the Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model are:

  • All child welfare staff will consistently demonstrate the four core competencies:
    • Teaming
    • Engagement
    • Assessment (including sub-competencies of Case Planning, Case Plan Implementation and Placement Planning)
    • Mentoring

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model.

Essential Components

The essential components of the Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model include:

  • Key Caseworker Activities: Twenty-nine Key Caseworker Activities (KCAs) have been identified to help caseworkers understand what it means to implement the 4 core competencies (including the 3 assessment subcompetencies). These activities will help caseworkers prioritize their work with children and families to promote life changes leading to more children and youth who are safe, living in permanent homes, and thriving in their environment.
    • Engagement: Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will, model, coach, train, observe and provide feedback to caseworkers on the following Key Caseworker Activities of engagement:
      • Create an environment of empathy, genuineness, respect, and empowerment that supports a child and family entering into a helping relationship and actively working toward change
      • Search for and engage parents, family members, and other support persons from the child's community in the family team process
    • Teaming: Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will model, coach, train, observe and provide feedback to caseworkers on the Key Caseworker Activities of teaming:
      • Form a family team
      • Prepare members of the family team for participation on the team and for upcoming decisions
      • Ensure members of the team meet and participate in shared decision-making on a regular basis.
    • Assessment: Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will model, coach, train, observe and provide feedback to caseworkers on the Key Caseworker Activities of assessment:
      • Use formal and informal assessment techniques to collect information
      • Collaborate with team members to identify child and family strengths, trauma histories, and needs
      • Organize and analyze all information that is collected to develop a comprehensive family assessment
      • Update comprehensive family assessment on a regular basis, and prior to case closure

      The assessment phase includes case planning, case plan implementation, and placement planning activities.

      • Case Planning: is a cooperative effort in which the caseworker, in partnership with the parents, children and other team members, develops a road map for moving a child to permanence promptly (as required) while at the same time addressing the child's safety and well-being needs. Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will educate, model, and coach caseworkers in the Key Caseworker Activities of case planning:
        • Involve families and other team members in a case planning process with a long-term view toward safety and permanency
        • Link services to individual strengths, potential traumatic stress, and specific needs of each relevant family member to the identified permanency goal or goals
        • Develop plans that have behaviorally specific and achievable goals and action steps
        • Use visits with the child and parents to make progress on goals and action steps
        • Track progress on case plan implementation and adjust as needed
      • Case Plan Implementation: details the who, what, where, when and how with regards to specific tasks and/or objectives for each participating case planning partner (birth parents, foster parents, relatives, caseworker and service providers). Case plan implementation is the utilization of services designed to address a family's underlying needs as identified through the assessment and case planning process. Case plan implementation begins at initial plan development and continues throughout case closure. Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will model, coach, train, observe and provide feedback to caseworkers on the Key Caseworker Activities of case plan implementation:
        • Engage with service providers
        • Clarify specific service needs when making referrals
        • Provide services promptly and on an ongoing basis to increase safety, reduce risk, address well-being, and promote timely permanency
        • Use caseworker visits to mobilize services
        • Evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of services
        • Provide services at the time of discharge and case closure
      • Placement Planning: This process is a methodology to ensure that children are placed in the most appropriate, least restrictive living arrangement consistent with their needs. This placement would ideally enable the child to maintain connections to family and friends and receive assistance with any special needs and stay in the same school. Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will model, coach, train, observe and provide feedback to caseworkers on the Key Caseworker Activities of placement planning:
        • Assess whether potential relative or kin caregivers are willing and able to safely care for children and youths
        • Work closely with members of the family team to make initial placement decisions, support those placements, and plan for transitions
        • Use assessment information to match children and youths to the most suitable placements
        • Use visits to preserve connections, strengthen relationships, and make progress on identified goals
        • Facilitate parent involvement with their children
        • Help children stay connected to their siblings
      • Mentoring is a developmental partnership in which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspective to foster and empower the personal and professional growth of another person. This may mean, for example, a caseworker mentoring a parent or a supervisor mentoring a caseworker. Mentoring is the ability to empower others by demonstrating and reinforcing the desired skills needed to promote positive outcomes and growth for children, families, and professionals. Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialist will model, coach, train, observe and provide feedback to caseworkers on the Key Caseworker Activities of mentoring:
        • Promote growth through coaching
        • Create a learning environment through observation and feedback
        • Support change through building honest and genuine relationships
  • Measurements: The Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model is measured through the MiTEAM Fidelity Tool and Quality Service Review.
    • The MiTEAM Fidelity Tool (administered by supervisors) is an automated assessment instrument that measures the extent to which the MiTEAM Practice Model is being implemented as designed. The information gathered is analyzed to determine how to enhance worker skills, reinforce the competencies and key case worker activities, and improve model integrity.
    • The Quality Service Review (QSR) is a form of real-time, rapid assessment and feedback applied by local and state agencies to strengthen frontline case practice.
  • MiTEAM Specialists:
    • Leaders with a keen ability and desire to impact positive change around child welfare practices
    • Recognized field resources for implementing and sustaining the Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model
    • Initiate routine opportunities to assist caseworkers by training, modeling, coaching, observing and providing feedback
  • Enhanced MiTEAM Implementation:
    • Uses adult learning theory and Kilpatrick's Training Evaluation Model to help increase retention of the material and the likelihood that the skills will be applied to practice
    • Recommends four-to-five-month-long training cycles where all child welfare staff take web-based training modules (1-2 competencies a training cycle), complete application exercises to connect the training content to practice, and are provided support and feedback from their manager
    • Training cycle reinforces key messages and addresses the seven MiTEAM competencies through the following components
      • Parallel Steps: Steps that Management and Supervisors take to demonstrate the competency within their role while connecting it to what their caseworkers are doing with families
      • MiTEAM Virtual Learning Microsite Modules: Tutorials, application exercises, and resources used to communicate skills and knowledge to the users
      • Practice Support Calls for Leadership: Calls held at beginning of every training cycle discuss parallel steps, debrief competencies, and provide overview of all components within the training cycle
      • Facilitated Application Exercises: Developed to ensure learning comprehension and to provide additional opportunities to practice skills outside of the tutorials and completed by users with the support of Supervisors and MiTEAM Specialists following the completion of module and individual exercises
      • Practice with the Fidelity Tool: During the implementation phase, supervisors are provided with a worksheet that contains 2 specific fidelity indicators associated with the current competency being covered. The Supervisor indicates if the fidelity indicator was met during their observation, review of the case file or interview with a family member. After this, the supervisor provides feedback to the caseworker about their strengths or potential opportunities for growth. The trends in the supervisors work unit are also collected and submitted to management to review. Management analyses local office trends and creates interventions around areas of need. In full implementation (current pilot sites), supervisors administer the full automated Fidelity Tool to collect individual, county and statewide data.

Program Delivery

Recommended Intensity:

From first contact to case closure (all child welfare public and private)

Recommended Duration:

Once the program is implemented into an agency, it should be continued as part of the standard operating procedures in the agency. Continuous quality improvement measures should be implemented through this process and further practice guidance provided on an ongoing basis based off of MiTEAM Fidelity Tool and QSR results.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Foster / Kinship Care
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Group or Residential Care


This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

A child welfare agency and trained staff, access to computers with speakers or headphones/earbuds for online training modules, and program materials

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Qualifications necessary to be a staff member in a public or private child welfare agency

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Training Information

There is not training available for this program.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Enhanced MiTEAM Practice Model.

Additional References

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Children's Services Administration (2016). MiTEAM Practice Model Manual. Retrieved from http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdhhs/MiTEAM_Practice_Model_Manual_535451_7.pdf

Contact Information

Tracie A. Kress, LMSW
Agency/Affiliation: Michigan Department of Health & Human Services
Website: www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71551_11120_77826_77828---,00.html
Phone: (517) 420-5531

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: April 2017

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2017