Monthly Archives: January 2017

Preserving Families for 25 Years

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Our legal name, Intensive Family Preservation Services National Network, reflects the original purpose of the organization: to promote Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS). And we have! From the early days when NFPN served as a clearinghouse for IFPS, conducted the first nationwide survey of IFPS, and developed two videos on IFPS and Mental Health and IFPS and Substance Abuse, to the present where NFPN continues to serve as a clearinghouse for IFPS, has conducted three additional nationwide surveys of IFPS, and has over 30 resources on the website related to IFPS for both intact and reunifying families, NFPN is still promoting IFPS!

NFPN partners with state agencies and private organizations in researching IFPS and developing resources for the field. NFPN has conducted six research studies involving IFPS in the past 15 years. All of them support IFPS as an effective intervention for high-risk families with a wide variety of presenting problems. The most recent study demonstrated that IFPS services are effective with families exhibiting trauma symptoms and indicators.

Resources on NFPN’s website include Request for Proposal (RFP) samples, state annual IFPS reports, practice standards, and training. NFPN has developed a CQI instrument that IFPS programs can use to demonstrate quality assurance. One of the most popular resources is the IFPS ToolKit, a guide for developing and maintaining strong and effective IFPS services that includes the following:
• Definition, history, and benefits of IFPS
• Essential components, standards, and performance measures
• Federal funding sources and payment structure for contractors
• Research and evaluation measures
• A model for Intensive Family Reunification Services

Several state agencies have used the IFPS ToolKit to develop their model of IFPS. To view the ToolKit visit

IFPS is now at a crossroads. Federal and state mandates require that programs meet standards for Evidence-Based Practice. In a study of IFPS programs, Schweitzer et al (2015) report that IFPS does not meet the criteria for the highest level of Evidence-Based Practice because it does not have two random-controlled, published studies of efficacy. However, they do say that IFPS meets a lower standard, that of promising practice. Thus, more studies are needed to fully establish IFPS as Evidence-Based Practice.

NFPN is committing to another 25 years of promoting IFPS, conducting research studies on IFPS, and providing resources, training, and technical assistance to the field.

To view resources on IFPS, visit

Posted by Priscilla Martens
Executive Director