Monthly Archives: July 2016

Designing an IFPS Program

Several agencies have used the IFPS Toolkit produced by the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) to design an IFPS program. Let’s take a closer look at how the ToolKit and other resources can be used for that purpose.

The IFPS ToolKit is a comprehensive resource that includes:
 Definition and History of IFPS
 Benefits of IFPS
 Essential Components of IFPS
 RFP and Pay Structure for IFPS Contracts
 Reunification Model
 Step-Down Services….and much more!

The ToolKit contains the basics for designing an IFPS program.
To view the IFPS ToolKit, visit

While the ToolKit is a good place to start, NFPN has other resources available to further assist in designing an IFPS program. NFPN has conducted several nationwide surveys of IFPS. The surveys provide data on exemplary IFPS programs nationwide including the following service components:
 Caseload
 Timeframe for first visit
 Total hours for intervention
 Length of service
 Clinical models
 Training requirements
 Outcomes
 Cost

As you build your IFPS program, you can comparing your design to the well-established, exemplary programs included in the nationwide survey.

To view the 2014 IFPS Nationwide Survey, visit

Dr. Ray Kirk and NFPN have conducted numerous studies on IFPS. The studies use the North Carolina Family Assessment Scales (NCFAS) as pre/post measures of improvement in family functioning. The NCFAS scales were originally developed with and for IFPS programs. The majority of exemplary IFPS programs use the NCFAS tools. Improvement in family functioning is closely associated with placement prevention and successful reunifications. Thus, you can use the NCFAS scales for multiple purposes: prioritizing needs, goals, services, developing a case plan, data collection, and evaluation.

For an overview of the research on the NCFAS scales, including six studies on IFPS, visit

For more information on the NCFAS scales, visit

Following development of an IFPS program, it’s critical to ensure ongoing quality. NFPN has developed a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) instrument for use with IFPS programs. The CQI-IFPS Instrument and supporting materials include the following:
 Introduction (definition, basis in federal law/policy, and purpose of the CQI-IFPS)
 CQI-IFPS Instrument (10 domains covering a total of 75 items)
 Tally Sheet (checklist for reviewers that allows tallying of up to 5 case files)
 Instructions (preparation, reviewing case files, debriefing, using findings to guide improvement in practice)
 Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

You can begin using the CQI with your IFPS program in the second year of operation to establish a baseline.

For more information on the CQI-IFPS instrument visit

Finally, NFPN is always available to provide technical assistance for IFPS program design. Call 888-498-9047 or email

Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director