Bring C.A.R.E.S. To Your Community

(Coordination, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support)

The National Center for Innovation and Excellence’s family-centered, strength-based program is now available to agencies and organizations throughout the U.S. that want to reduce the number of children in their formal child welfare systems, through an aggressive, front-end child abuse prevention model.

With the help of our team of experienced professionals, the C.A.R.E.S. model can be customized to the unique needs of the children and families in your community.

What is C.A.R.E.S.?

Using high fidelity Wraparound Care Coordination, C.A.R.E.S. is a proven effective strength-based and family-centered program model that safely diverts entry into the mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare system by strategically reaching families before stressors they experience lead to child abuse and neglect. Research shows C.A.R.E.S. works!


  • Reduces entry into the child welfare & juvenile justice system
  • Diverts placement into out of home and congregate care by safely keeping children and families together in their homes and community and;
  • Shortens the length of stay in congregate care with better outcomes at lower costs
  • Is cost effective, efficient, sustainable, produces positive outcomes and reduces recidivism

C.A.R.E.S. (Coordination, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support) is an evidence-based promising practice model program. C.A.R.E.S. is a family-centered, strength-based, and community-driven model of care designed to promote child abuse prevention and family preservation, to divert entry into the juvenile justice system; and enable children with complex needs to remain at home and in their community. The program’s unique “Wraparound” and Family Team Conferencing approach offers services and support to families experiencing stressors that often result in out of home placement.

Families referred to the C.A.R.E.S. are typically experiencing some type of family stress and/or isolation. Some may be referred by Child Protective Investigators after an investigation of reported abuse or neglect, while others are referred by family, friends, providers, clergy, teachers or others concerned about the family’s safety and well-being. Because families voluntarily chose to enter C.A.R.E.S. their children are able to safely remain in their homes, schools and communities.

What is “Wraparound”?

In the spirit of the popular belief, “It takes a village to raise a child,” Wraparound is a process that supports and encourages families toward their goals of safety and stability with the assistance of the people who are involved in their lives. It consists of formal and informal supports that assist the family in reaching their goals.


A key component of the C.A.R.E.S. model approach is the concept of Family Team Conferencing, providing families with natural as well as formal supports to help them to develop and implement a plan of care to ensure their safety, stability and the health and welfare of their children. Employing Wraparound and Family Team Conferencing, this family-centered, strength-based approach to care gives families voice and choice in determining their vision and goals, the makeup of their family team, and the best courses of action to help guide them through their individual situation. Families have access to the same services available to those in the formal dependency system without having to enter it, saving untold millions of dollars that are then reinvested into the system of care to provide additional services and capacity. The average monthly cost of court-ordered out-of-home care for one child is approximately $2,500; serving a child in C.A.R.E.S. costs only about $550 per month!


The first referral to the C.A.R.E.S. pilot program was on July 27, 2005. At that time C.A.R.E.S. was launched and began by serving two children and their family and as the program built capacity over time the demand has steadily increased. Since then, over the past 11 years C.A.R.E.S. has helped to keep over 18,495 children and their families from entering the formal dependency system and being removed from their homes. As a result of removing the stigma once attached to seeking assistance, an increasing number of families “self-refer” in that they are seeking assistance themselves before a situation at home becomes a crisis.


Thousands of children and families are remaining safely in their homes, free from abuse and neglect and working to improve their daily lives. The majority of families who successfully completed the C.A.R.E.S. program do not have a verified report of maltreatment at the six, twelve-month and 18 month follow up. The C.A.R.E.S. program was published in Families in Society at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. The study, titled “Reducing Risk: Families in Wraparound Intervention“, found that the program reduces the occurrence of verifiable child maltreatment by applying core principles of wraparound with Family Team Conferencing to voluntarily enrolled families at risk for child maltreatment. The program has also been recognized as an evidence-based promising practice by the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC).

Interested parties may contact us to obtain more information about how we can customize our array of available services to support you and your community in protecting children, strengthening families, and changing lives.