Monthly Archives: August 2016

Prevention Programs

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) frequently receives inquiries about effective prevention programs for families. In this blog post, NFPN will highlight two prevention programs. Both of these programs will be featured in The 2016 National Conference for America’s Children, October 17-20, Cincinnati, Ohio. For more information about the conference visit

The first program, Family Connections (FC), targets families at risk of child maltreatment. A practitioner performs the following tasks (condensed from the program description in the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare):
o Uses screening criteria that indicate a risk of maltreatment
o Initiates the therapeutic relationship through face-to-face contact with the family within one business day of acceptance into the FC program
o Provides at least one hour of face-to-face services to families at least once per week for at least three months
o Provides most services in the community, meeting families where they live
o Uses standardized clinical assessment instruments to guide the identification of risk and protective factors associated with child maltreatment
o Provides emergency/concrete services to address concrete needs
o Conducts comprehensive family assessments to guide the service delivery process
o Develops outcome-driven service plans geared to decrease risk and increase protective factors associated with child maltreatment
o Delivers tailored and direct therapeutic services to help families reduce risks, maximize protective factors, and achieve service outcomes and goals
o Advocates on behalf of families in the community and facilitates services delivery by other organizations/individuals

Evaluation of Family Connections produced these outcomes:
• Increase in appropriate parenting attitudes
• Increase in satisfaction with parenting, and social support of trusting and authoritative figures in their lives
• Decrease in depressive symptoms
• Decrease in caregiver drug use
• Decrease in caregiver stress and everyday stress
• Decrease in child behavior problems

For more information on Family Connections as an Evidence-Based Practice, visit

The other prevention program highlighted in this post is the Integrated Family Services program in San Francisco. Integrated Family Services is a way of organizing direct services to families that focuses on Five Protective Factors (parental resilience, social connections, concrete supports, knowledge of parenting and child development, social and emotional competence of children) as outcomes. Families who meet eligibility requirements (residing in San Francisco and caring for a child 12 or under) are primarily referred by doctors, schools, health department, and self-referred.

Families participate in an assessment process to identify the family’s strengths and challenges vis-à-vis the Five Protective Factors. Based on this assessment and the family’s articulation of their needs, the program offers team-based services, including intensive case management, psychotherapy, and parent education.

Service planning is directed by a Clinical Care Coordinator, who is the primary contact with the family and is accountable for outcomes. Reassessment and revision of the service plan, if necessary, happens every three months, until families reach their desired goals and protective factors are strengthened. Care coordinators provide six months of low-intensity aftercare, to support families in the gains they have made.

For more information, visit

Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director