What is it about?

This article proposes a four-factor outcome model for case management services with children and families when the children have experienced complex trauma. The factors are relationships between service users and practitioners, personal characteristics of service users and practitioners, social service system influences, and external influences. The model is based upon research on the common factors model of psychotherapy outcomes, research that the first author conducted on case management services with children and families who have experienced complex trauma, the authors’ practice experience with children and families who have experienced complex trauma, related research and theory, and ideas from evidence-based practice. While the model is tailored to family case management, we believe it is applicable to other domains of social services, such as family and couples therapy, child and family mental health, family advocacy, and family policy formulation and evaluation.

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Why is it important?

Child complex trauma is a problem of global proportions, and case management is an intervention that many children with complex trauma receive (Dolan & Frost, 2017). Yet, to date, there are no family case management models of practice with this population of children and their families (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2015; Joseph & Murphy, 2014; Ward, 2014). The purpose of this article is to propose such a model based on research and theory on trauma, attachment, and resilience (e.g., D’Andrea, Ford, Stolbach, Spinazzola, & van der Kolk, 2012; Golding, 2007; Lieberman & van Horn, 2008; Masten, 2014; Sroufe, Egeland, Carlson, & Collins 2005); on evidence-based practice that has integrated findings from research, clinical expertise, client preferences, values, and wants, as well as reflective practice (Drisko & Grady, 2015; Gilgun, 2005; Fisher, 2016; Straus, Richardson, Glasziou, & Haynes, 2010); and on common factors model in family therapy and general psychotherapy outcomes (Cameron & Keenan, 2010; Davis, Lebow, & Sprenkle, 2012; Drisko, 2004, 2013; Fraser, Solovey, Grove, Lee, & Greene, 2012; Lambert, 1992, Lambert & Ogles, 2014; Leibert, 2011; Norcross & Wampold, 2011; Sprenkle, Davis, & Lebow, 2009).


Children and families where children have experienced complex trauma are low priorities in government policies and programs. The result that this is an underserved population that experiences much suffering and lack of opportunityl. In a just society, these children and families would have the care and support needed for them to thrive.

Professor Jane Gilgun
University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: A Four-Factor Outcome Model for Family Case Management Services With Children and Families Who Have Experienced Complex Trauma, Journal of Family Theory & Review, December 2017, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/jftr.12217.
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