Family Alternatives

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Scientific Rating:
Not able to be Rated
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Family Alternatives has been reviewed by the CEBC in the area of: Youth Transitioning Into Adulthood Programs, but lacks the necessary research evidence to be given a Scientific Rating.

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

Joan Riebel, MSW, LICSW
Phone: (612) 746-8175
Fax: (612) 379-5328

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: June 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: June 2016