Questions and answers
- What are family support services?
Family support services are community-based services that assist and support parents in their role as caregivers. Family support services promote parental competence and healthy child development by helping parents enhance their strengths and resolve problems that can lead to child maltreatment, developmental delays, and family disruption.
- Who can benefit from family support services?
Family support services provide support and assistance to parents across the service continuum. While they are most often intended for families prior to involvement with formal service systems such as child welfare, these services also may be used to support and assist families who have experienced child maltreatment or family disruption. In addition, family support services may be helpful for families receiving in-home services, for those seeking to reunify with a child who has been in out-of-home care, for kinship families caring for their relative children, and for families formed by adoption.
- What are family preservation services?
Family preservation services are short-term, family-focused, and community-based services designed to help families cope with significant stresses or problems that interfere with their ability to nurture their children. The goal of family preservation services is to maintain children with their families or to reunify them, whenever it can be done safely.
- Who can benefit from family preservation services?
Family preservation services have been used successfully for families at risk of disruption, as well as those seeking to reunify, including families receiving child welfare, juvenile justice, or mental health services.
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Frequently requested information
- Family Preservation and Support Resources
Offers links to available State documents on family preservation and support.
Discusses laws that require child welfare agencies to make reasonable efforts to provide services that will help families remedy the conditions that brought the child and family into the child welfare system. The issues examined include what constitutes reasonable efforts, when reasonable efforts are required to be made, and the circumstances under which reasonable efforts to reunify the family are not required. Summaries of laws for all States and U.S. territories are included.
- Family Stabilization
Rates the effectiveness of programs to preserve, support, and stabilize families in crisis or at risk of child removal.
- Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) Survey Report
Describes exemplary IFPS programs nationwide and offers a directory of resources, training, and technical assistance.
- National Parent Helpline®
Parents Anonymous® Inc.
Provides parents and caregivers emotional support and links them to services, if necessary: 1.855.4APARENT (1.855.427.2736).
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