Project Description

Family Development and The Pathway to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect

The Matrix Outcomes Model LLC, Strategies and the Office of Child Abuse Prevention supports partnerships between family resource centers and child welfare agencies to use the Family Development Matrix Outcomes Model and The Pathway to the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect with its wealth of findings from research, practice, theory and policy, to improve the lives of children and families and to support at-risk families participating in “Differential Response’ referral and other prevention programs.


Participating Collaboratives
Alpine, Butte, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Fresno, Hopland Band of Pomo Indians, Humboldt, Lake, Los Angeles, Madera, Orange, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Smith River Rancheria, Tehama, Tulare, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba, Yurok Tribe.


Evaluation Objectives
Relationship building makes a difference with family outcomes. The FDM/Pathway model uses a core set of outcome measures. Change in one part of a family situation affects other areas of family functioning. The family worker conducts a baseline assessment and repeats the assessments with the client family as long as they are engaged with the agency. With completion of an assessment the family worker enters data into the database. The FDM database provides an analysis of family strengths and areas of concern, interventions (“services” and “practices”) that represent the activity between the family worker and the family. Together they develop a family empowerment plan with a family-directed goal and worker/family plan to move toward the desired outcome. Data analysis is based on associations between family outcomes with types of intervention, case management activities and family engagement.


Process steps for the family and worker to implement the FDM/Pathway model

  1. The worker conducts the FDM assessment with the family using a core set of measurement indicators.
  2. The visit summary of family strengths and areas of concern are displayed in the web database.
  3. The worker and the family choose the intervention based on the family's desired goal.
  4. The family empowerment plan clarifies roles and describes the activities of all involved.
  5. The worker records the activities completed by both the family and the worker.
  6. Following the collaborative protocol the worker re-assesses the family using the core set of indicators, updates the empowerment plan and continues recording the progress of the family.
  7. The database tracks outcome changes for each family and aggregates data for reports to funders and for program improvement.

Agency Practices

  • Family assessment identifies strengths and concerns, promotes goal setting decisions by the family members, and measures outcomes of functioning for the entire family.
  • Service plans are individualized to meet the needs of the children and families.
  • Family-centered services are focused on family self-direction and self-sufficiency. Parents are included in every step especially where a child is at-risk.
  • Service providers understand the culture of language and maintain cultural competency to build on the unique values, strengths, and cultural assets of the children and families.
  • Case managers and other family workers receive training in family-centered assessment, case management, and evaluation.

Pathway Goal Statement and Standards

    Standard: Children and youth are supported by parents and are safe.
    Standard: Protective and growth factors in the family include caring and support, high expectations for success, children’s participation in family, schools, community and families are positively engaged in their homes and in the community.
    Standard: The family environment supports positive family relations.
    Standard: Parent and child relationships are based on child development knowledge and positive parenting skills.
    Standard: Families are involved in determining needs for services, utilizing their own strengths with adequate community resources for achieving goals.
    Standard: Families are assured of receiving access to the same level of quality services whenever and wherever they enter the services system.
    Standard: Services are implemented using an inter-agency approach and are changed as family’s needs change.
    Standard: Family intervention and support begins before the parent(s) becomes fully engaged in substance abuse.
    Standard: Agency is committed to providing comprehensive resources sufficient to assure quality and full access to community, public, and educational services.
    Standard: Community programs reach out to families where they live, understanding the family’s whole situation when providing informal activities as well as formal services.
    Standard: Community examines consequences of families involved in the child welfare system. The conditions that affect family wellbeing and safety as impacted by the lack of employment opportunity, affordable housing, health care and transportation are examined for policy action.