When the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) was founded 25 years ago, the first publication, released in 1994, was a nationwide survey of Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS).
The first IFPS survey was at the program level with 223 IFPS programs listed as meeting the following criteria:
• Serve a maximum of 4 families per worker
• Deliver services in the home and community
• Meet at least 15 of the 20 characteristics of IFPS (based on Homebuilders model)
Most of the programs listed were in a dozen states that had a statewide model. The bulk of funding was provided by the states with a small number of programs also receiving federal, county, city, or private foundation funding.
It would be another 13 years before the next IFPS nationwide survey was published in 2007. Twenty states responded to the survey stating that they provided IFPS services. However, there was a wide variation in the models of service and thus limitations on any conclusive findings.
In 2011 NFPN released another IFPS survey and this time exemplary IFPS programs were separated from less intensive programs. Fourteen states met criteria for exemplary IFPS and findings included:
• Safety is a hallmark with few IFPS deaths reported in a five-year period of time
• Key components of intensity are adhered to including 24/7 availability of worker, low caseload (2-4 families), brief length of service (4-6 weeks), and high number of face-to-face hours spent with families (average of 47 hours per IFPS intervention)
• Exemplary IFPS programs have written program standards, monitor compliance, and conduct evaluations
• A clinical model was used by 65% of IFPS programs
To view the 2011 IFPS Survey visit: http://www.nfpn.org/preservation/2011-ifps-survey
In recognition of the 40th anniversary of IFPS, NFPN released a special edition of the IFPS nationwide survey in 2014. A dozen states were listed with exemplary IFPS programs. A comparison of IFPS then and now included a letter from an early supporter of IFPS, Douglas Nelson from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a side-by-side comparison of IFPS in 1992 and in 2104 for several states, and an IFPS timeline.
To view the special edition IFPS Nationwide Survey visit: http://www.nfpn.org/preservation/2014-ifps-survey
More information about the early years of IFPS and the 40th anniversary are available on the Intensive Family Preservation website: http://www.intensivefamilypreservation.org/
In summary, the four nationwide surveys provide a snapshot view of IFPS during a point in time. There have been 7 states with strong IFPS programs that appeared in all the surveys (KY, MO, CT, MI, NC, ND, WA). Cumulatively, the nationwide surveys provide critical information about both the evolution and consistency of IFPS programs and thus serve as a guide for the future development and expansion of IFPS.
Posted by Priscilla Martens
NFPN Executive Director