Family Alternatives

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents aged 14 to 19 who are currently in foster care and who will likely transition out of care to interdependent adult living

For children/adolescents ages: 14 – 19

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 14 – 19

Brief Description

This model is designed to address the socioemotional needs of older youth in foster care who are nearing transition to adulthood. The model employs a holistic approach by transforming the agency culture to one that empowers youth to develop, work toward and accomplish their goals, build supportive relationships, and become informed of the effects of trauma in their lives. Core tenets include believing that youth have the innate wisdom to know and understand themselves, their needs and aspirations; believing that youth have the capacity to make their own decisions; providing youth opportunities to discover what they need to be successful; allowing youth to learn by doing. This requires the adults in the lives of youth to shift long held beliefs and standardized child welfare practices. It requires more than a few months for everyone to adapt to this way of working together.

Program Goals:

The goals of Family Alternatives are:

  • Develop agency policies and practice protocols to recognize and support the interdependence of social workers, foster parents, youth, and families, and to empower youth in guiding their own lives and plans
  • Educate social workers and foster parents on (and remain current on the latest research in) attachment, trauma, grief, and loss, and facilitate using that knowledge in the social workers and foster parents work and interactions with youth

Contact Information

Mary Lennick, LICSW
Phone: (612) 379-5341
Fax: (612) 379-5328

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2016