Many children who become involved with the child welfare system are not removed from their homes and separated from their families. Instead, they receive in-home services. These services are designed to strengthen, support, and stabilize families that come to the attention of child protective services but do not warrant the children living in out-of-home care. These services, which could be recommended or court ordered, should be family centered and culturally competent, and agencies should seek and incorporate family input when determining which services are needed and appropriate.
This section provides information about the role of in-home services in supporting and preserving families, including State and local examples.
The Child Welfare Placement Continuum: What's Best for Children?
National Conference of State Legislatures (2019)
Indicates why a safe family environment is best for children’s well-being and mental and emotional health.
How Can Medicaid-Funded Services Support Children, Youth, and Families Involved With Child Protection? (PDF - 623 KB)
Center for Health Care Strategies
Describes the key components of Medicaid financing, covered services, and the coverage of evidence-based practices that can support children and youth involved with child welfare.
How Do Some Child Protection Agencies Provide Voluntary Services?
Casey Family Programs (2020)
Provides examples from New Jersey, New York City, Oklahoma, and Washington State on how they provide voluntary child welfare services to engage families, provide support and access to services, build family resilience and community connections, and maintain safety for children.
How We Partner With the Community to Improve Service Options Podcast Series
Capacity Building Center for States
Presents podcasts on how child welfare agencies are adjusting their culture to support the collaborative development of services that better meet the needs of the families and youth in the community.
How Has New Jersey Built a Continuum of Home Visiting Services?
Casey Family Programs (2021)
Discusses lessons learned from implementing a variety of topic-specific home visiting programs, including those related to nursing services and early education.
In-Home Services to Strengthen Children and Families
Parenting Works: The Public Safety and Economic Benefits of Home Visiting (PDF - 5,792 KB)
Billings & Baizer (2018)
Council for a Strong America
Discusses the impact of voluntary home visiting programs in preventing future child abuse and neglect.
What is Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness?
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
Presents the results of a research review that assessed home visiting program models designed for families with pregnant women and children up to age 5. The website provides program model reports, outcome domain reports, implementation profiles, a study search tool, and more.
How Do Washington, D.C.’s Community Collaboratives Provide Neighborhood-Based Supports to Families? (PDF - 534 KB)
Casey Family Programs (2021)
Reviews how five neighborhood collaboratives used a population-based approach to child welfare to help families reach their full potentials.
How Was Safety Organized Practice Implemented in San Diego County?
Casey Family Programs (2019)
Discusses how a collaborative practice approach was implemented through child welfare organization partnerships.
Intensive Family Preservation Service and Intensive Family Reunification Services
Institute for Family Development (2018)
Provides in-home crisis services in several States.
It's All About Engagement: Using In Home Services to Prevent Foster Care in Austin, Texas (PDF - 831 KB)
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Provides various perspectives from professionals and families involved with Austin’s In Home Services program.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST)
Youth Villages (2017)
Explains how multisystemic therapy can address child behavioral issues using multiple strategies.
Structured Decision Making
California Department of Social Services
Describes a structured decision-making approach in California.