LIFE - Live In Family Enhancement
About This Program
Target Population: Parents with children ages 0-17 at risk of having their children enter foster care or who are in the process of reunification with their children
For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17
The LIFE (Live In Family Enhancement) program offers a unique alternative to traditional out-of-home care for families involved in the child welfare system. The program provides the opportunity to keep the family together while the children are in care through the placement of the entire family in a supported and supervised setting. The parent(s) and their children live together in a foster home for a period of eight months to a year. During this time, the LIFE Caregiver mentors, guides, supports, and serves as a role model for the LIFE parents. The LIFE Caregiver focuses on building and securing the parents’ attachment to their children, developing routines, building confidence in parenting abilities, and development of both new skills and a new direction for their parenting future.
The goals of LIFE – Live In Family Enhancement are:
- Establish predictable routines
- Develop self-esteem and competency in parenting
- Build trusting relationships with the agency and others
- Broaden the circle of support and repair relationships
- Learn to manage the household more effectively
- Obtain grade 12 or equivalent education and secure housing and income
- Learn strong attachment behaviors
- Learn positive decision-making strategies
- Learn appropriate discipline strategies
- Learn how to obtain mental health supports and maintain sobriety
View the Logic Model for LIFE - Live In Family Enhancement.
The essential components of LIFE – Live In Family Enhancement include:
- LIFE Caregivers:
- Take in (or move into a neutral location with) the whole family including one or two parents as needed
- Receive the following training:
- Attachment training
- Agency cultural training
- 2SLGBTQ+ (Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+) Awareness, Inclusion and Affirmation
- Circle of Security
- Demonstrates how to parent and gives support to parent(s) in family
- Introduction, preparation for placement, and meeting the children:
- The parent meets with the support team, which includes the LIFE Caregiver family or other resources (e.g., therapist, school staff, probation services, addictions counsellor, etc.), to provide them with information concerning their children:
- Specific needs
- Current schedules
- Likes and dislikes
- Other such characteristics
- The LIFE caregiver and the family may organize pre-placement visits.
- The LIFE Treatment Worker begins the case plan mapping process within two weeks of acceptance. All recommendations are to be clearly identified and a plan is to be outlined, including the roles of each person on the team.
- Families will receive some household items on entering the program. This will include their bed and beds for their children. All other items will be donated. The LIFE Caregiver accepts and seeks donated items for the family coming into care.
- The LIFE Treatment Worker outlines the placement process for the family:
- A timeline is created to identify the dates that the family and children will begin to move in with the LIFE Caregiver either at their home or a neutral location and the projected dates for the family’s duration in the program.
- All recommendations are clearly identified and the plan outlines what is required of each person(s)Guidance, Support, Mentoring, and Teaching for Families.
- Weekly meetings with the LIFE treatment worker and LIFE Caregiver
- Support to follow the expectations and goals
- Training with LIFE Caregivers
- Calendar of activities focused on the child’s needs completed weekly with LIFE Caregiver and parent
- Training relevant to the parental needs and goals
- Information sessions on the following topics, but not limited to:
- First Aid/CPR
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
- Cultural Awareness
- Domestic Violence in Relationships
- Grief and Loss
- Impact of Neglect and Abuse on Child Development
- Mentoring on:
- Strong attachment behaviors and effective parenting practices
- Positive decision-making strategies
- Appropriate discipline strategies
- Effective parenting practices
- Routines for children
- Attachment issues addressed through the Circle of Security program
- Coaching on healthy food and menu choices, thoughtful planned shopping (e.g., grocery planning, using resources, cooking, budgeting strategies, etc.)
- Education on medical needs, including medical/professional appointments
- Development of positive hygiene practices for the whole family, such as bathing and brushing teeth
- Access to reports from professionals and counselors
- Assistance with seeking secure housing from LIFE caregiver and treatment worker
- Support in achieving their predetermined goals by LIFE caregiver and treatment worker
- Assistance in planning for future goals and a successful transition into independence (e.g., education, child tax, Social Assistance (welfare), housing, daycare, etc.) by LIFE Team
- Suspension from the program for noncompliance or an absence of a suspension
- Incident reports and self-reporting
- Other important considerations: Who are the LIFE family’s strong relationships? Friends, family, supports, elders, a priest or other. If no support network is in place, the LIFE caregivers work with the parents to build this network.
- LIFE family will complete all outside treatment programs and assessments spelled out in child welfare case plan (e.g., parental capacity assessment, counseling, parenting programs, budgeting, court requirements, social worker requirements, attachment therapy, addictions treatment, drug testing, mental health assessments)
LIFE - Live In Family Enhancement directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- In danger of losing custody of their child or in the process of regaining custody and need support, may experience depression, substance use, and other mental illnesses
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:
This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Children of parent(s) receiving services are involved as they are living with the parents and LIFE Caregiver. Immediate and/or extended family, teachers, and daycare staff can be involved as supports for the parents.
The LIFE treatment worker, LIFE caregiver and parent(s) meet weekly for 1st month for 2-3 hours. Contact is reduced progressively to once a month unless more time is needed.
6-12 months while living with LIFE Caregiver
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Foster / Kinship Care
This program does not include a homework component.
Resources Needed to Run Program
The typical resources for implementing the program are:
Workstation, computer, printer, internet/email services, office space, 1 coordinator per 5 LIFE homes. The LIFE Caregiver requires a home with 1 or more bedrooms for the family to stay in.
Manuals and Training
Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications
The LIFE Caregiver has no minimum education requirement just parental experience and licensed as a foster care provider. The LIFE treatment worker needs to have a Bachelor of Social Work degree or equivalent experience with related education. The Supervisor of Kinship Care needs to have a Bachelor of Social Work degree or equivalent experience with related education.
There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.
There is not training available for this program.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for LIFE - Live In Family Enhancement.
No reference materials are currently available for LIFE - Live In Family Enhancement.
- Jason Orchyk, MSW
- Agency/Affiliation: Metis Child, Family & Community Services
- Website: www.metiscfs.mb.ca/alternative_placement_services.php
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: (204) 806-6674
Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2023
Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2023
Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: August 2023