Model Overview

3-5-7 Model® Overview

The 3-5-7 Model® is a state-of-the-art, evidence-based practice that supports the work of children, youth and families in grieving their losses and rebuilding their relationships towards the goals of well-being, safety and permanency.  The 3-5-7 Model® is the core of child welfare practice, incorporating theoretical underpinnings from child development, attachment, separation and loss, trauma, family systems and relationship development.  In 2012, the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) underscored the importance of promoting social and emotional well-being for children and youth receiving child welfare services.  This desired well-being relates to the teachings of Erikson, understanding how maltreatment impacts child development; Kubler-Ross, understanding grief; Maslow, understanding the Hierarchy of Need and a sense of belongingness; and other well- known experts on attachment and relationship building.

The 3-5-7 Model® is a strengths based approach that empowers children, youth and families to engage in grieving and integrating significant relationships.  Family Search and Engagement activities, Family Group Decision Making, Signs of Safety, and other practice models can be woven into the three tasks of the 3-5-7 Model®. The 3-5-7 Model® uses tools (e.g., lifebooks, loss/life lines) to support work around issues of separation and loss, identity formation, attachment, and building relationships, and it also supports deeper therapeutic work around abuse, abandonment, and neglect experiences.  Practice applications can be made throughout ongoing case management services, from intake to child protective to placement services.  The 3-5-7 Model® supports kinship, foster and adoptive family relationships. The 3-5-7 Model® is also an effective engagement strategy with birth families.