Providing services to families at home and in their communities can help caseworkers better identify strengths and needs and address parenting skills and relationships in the family's natural environment. Services should be family centered, community based, culturally competent, and should engage the family by using their input to determine what types of supports or services will be most helpful to them. The goal of in-home services is to prevent the need for future child welfare involvement or removal.
Learn more about the role of in-home services in supporting and preserving families, including State and local examples.
Child Well-Being Spotlight: Children Placed Outside the Home and Children Who Remain In-Home After a Maltreatment Investigation Have Similar and Extensive Service Needs (PDF - 211 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (2012)
Summarizes recent research from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) that indicates children reported for maltreatment have a high risk of experiencing developmental problems, cognitive problems, behavioral/emotional problems, or substance use disorders, regardless of whether they were placed in out-of-home care or remained in-home with or without receiving services.
Provides an overview of the Family First Act, resources on topics related to the legislation, communication tools for promoting the website, and a calendar with upcoming related webinars and conference calls.
Family Preservation and Support Manuals for Professionals
State Guides and Manuals Search
Offers State-specific information about family preservation. This information can be found by selecting the State of interest, the family preservation and support topic, and the professional audience.
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.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 367KB)
Parenting Works: The Public Safety and Economic Benefits of Home Visiting (PDF - 5,660 KB)
Council for a Strong America (2018)
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
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.
Working With Children and Youth With Complex Clinical Needs: Strategies in the Safe Reduction of Congregate Care
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
View Abstract and Download
Discusses methods for reducing the number of children and youth in congregate care, including the development of infrastructure to support in-home service delivery. A login is required to access this information.
Intensive Family Preservation Service and Intensive Family Reunification Services
Institute for Family Development (2018)
Provides in-home crisis services in several States.
In-Home Services Comparison Tool (Word - 48 KB)
Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (2016)
Describes numerous services provided to at-risk families in their homes, including those addressing parenting, early childhood and child development, intensive family preservation, prevention, reunification services, and more. Descriptions address target population, referral criteria, response time, duration of services, and follow-up.
Multisystemic Therapy (MST)
Youth Villages (2017)
Explains how multisystemic therapy can address child behavioral issues using multiple strategies.
Performance Audit: Department of Economic Security, Division of Children, Youth and Families, Child Protective Services: In-Home Services Program (PDF - 617 KB)
Arizona Office of the Auditor General (2012)
Describes the types of services provided to families as well as the relationship between agency staff and contractors who provide those services. The audit recommends that the agency can strengthen in-home services by better incorporating the use of evidence-based practices.