Families are central to child safety, permanency, and well-being, and all families need support. For families with limited resources, or those facing additional challenges, the need for assistance is even greater. This may include family support services, which refers to a range of supportive services for families with children, or family preservation services, which are more intensive services intended to preserve families at risk of disruption. Family support and family preservation services are part of a continuum of services that build upon the principles of family-centered practice with the goal of supporting and strengthening families. These principles include focusing on families' strengths, engaging families in planning and decision-making, and leveraging community-based services and supports on behalf of families.
This section provides examples of family support and preservation services, including in-home services and services for families with mental health needs and/or substance use disorders. It also offers resources for child welfare managers on family engagement, cultural competence, evaluation, evidence-based practice, funding, and training.
Introduction to family support and preservation
Provides an introduction to the field of family support and preservation services.
Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
Explains the intersection between mental health and substance use disorders to support child welfare professionals in screening, assessing, and referring families to appropriate treatments.
Offers information and resources about the role of in-home services in supporting and preserving families.
Linking Children and Families to Behavioral Health Resources
Connects to community-based mental health and substance use treatment programs throughout the United States.
Family support services
Provides information and resources about family support policy and program approaches; services for specific groups such as young parents, military families, and children and families of prisoners; referral and linkage to resources; and shared family care.
Family preservation services
Describes policy and program approaches to family preservation services and addresses intensive family preservation services.
Resources for managers
Offers tools for managers and administrators of family support and preservation services on engaging families, providing culturally competent services, and evaluating services. Resources also address evidence-based practice, funding, and training.
Working With Families: Mental Health
Provides information and tools for child welfare workers supporting children, youth, parents, and caregivers affected by mental health concerns.
Working With Families: Substance Use
Describes evidence-based practices for identifying, screening, and referring to treatment families who are affected by substance use disorders.