Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP)

About This Program

Target Population: Families with at least one child aged 10 or younger, or pregnant, who are identified as being exposed to two or more risk factors including, but not limited to, poverty, past maltreatment history, domestic violence, chemical dependency, and emotional or behavioral health problems; Minor parents and nontraditional caregivers such as relatives or nonresident parents.

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 10

Program Overview

The Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) is a voluntary, early intervention program that focuses on a family’s strengths and needs and aims to help pregnant and parenting families thrive. The program is available through all Minnesota counties, and the White Earth and Leech Lake reservations. Families can refer themselves or be referred by community or social service agencies. Parent Support Outreach Program workers conduct comprehensive assessments of families’ needs and strengths and, together, make decisions about what services or community resources are the best choices for success. The overarching goals are to enhance the well-being of children and families, ensure and maintain safety for children, and support families so they can meet the needs of their children by themselves and through support systems.

Program Goals

The goals of the Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) are:

  • Reduced risk of child maltreatment by addressing unmet family needs and employing family strengths
  • Improved overall family well-being as measured by the strengths and needs assessment

Logic Model

The program representative did not provide information about a Logic Model for Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP).

Essential Components

The essential components of the Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) include:

  • Voluntary family support program
  • Consumer-driven
  • Grounded in home visiting principles
  • Filling the service gap between families seeking assistance on their own and families mandated to services
  • Flexible funding available to assist families with basic needs, such as housing or childcare
  • Emphasizing respectful engagement, partnership with families, and recognition of strengths
  • Focus on improving and sustaining child and family well-being
  • Focus on father engagement and nonresident parent engagement
  • Creating linkages for families to longer-term supportive services and resources, such as mental health or parenting supports

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Parent of a child who is at risk for child maltreatment due to child’s behavioral challenges, parenting behaviors, domestic violence, financial concerns, poor relationships and social supports, cultural challenges, grief/loss, school/education concerns; lack of access to: basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, and housing, family health services (i.e., medical care, mental and chemical health services), transportation, childcare, resource management services
Services Involve Family/Support Structures:

This program involves the family or other support systems in the individual's treatment: Parent Support Outreach Program workers conduct comprehensive assessments of families’ needs and strengths and, together, make decisions about what services or community resources are the best choices for success. A case plan is created with the family that address their identified needs, while building on their strengths and involving both formal and informal support systems.

Recommended Intensity:

Services and contacts are based solely on a family’s individual needs and risk level. A minimum of once-a-month face-to-face contact is recommended, with additional telephone and email contacts to assist family in meeting goals.

Recommended Duration:

No specific time limit, but services are usually very specific and time limited (90–180 days average).

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Adoptive Home
  • Birth Family Home
  • Community-based Agency / Organization / Provider
  • Public Child Welfare Agency (Dept. of Social Services, etc.)


This program does not include a homework component.


Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) has materials available in languages other than English:

Hmong, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese

For information on which materials are available in these languages, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

Service provider must be able to meet with families facing various challenges to engage them in services and be knowledgeable about a wide range of available community resources. Providers must be able to make home visits and be accessible by telephone.

Manuals and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Providers are most often professionals with a degree in human services, social work, public health or similar, and knowledge of community resources.

Manual Information

There is a manual that describes how to deliver this program.

Program Manual(s)

The Minnesota Department of Human Services has a bulletin and provides best practice guidance for local social services agencies implementing PSOP. Bulletins and documents are published online as they are updated and all resources can be found here.

Training Information

There is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training Type/Location:

The MN Child Welfare Training Academy provides foundation training for child welfare agency staff. State supported Regional Communities of Practice training occurs quarterly. Individual agency information and consultation provided via phone or email as needed or requested.

Number of days/hours:

Regional Communities of Practice meetings occur quarterly and are approximately 3 hours in length. Additional training is scheduled as needed. No separate training for different roles (supervisor, provider).

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Millett, L. S. (2019). Outcomes from early child maltreatment prevention program in child protective services. Children and Youth Services Review, 101(C), 329–340.

Type of Study: Other quasi-experimental
Number of Participants: 3,912


  • Age — Mean=32.27 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — PSOP Group: 48% Caucasian, 37% African American, 13% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 3% American Indian; DR Group: 50% Caucasian, 35% African American, 14% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 4% American Indian
  • Gender — Not specified
  • Status — Participants were foreign-born families.

Location/Institution: Minnesota counties

Summary: (To include basic study design, measures, results, and notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to conduct an analysis on maltreatment prevention programs and determine whether the Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) resulted in less subsequent CPS involvement, increased use of mental health and substance abuse services, and improvement of family’s economic well-being. Participants were assigned to either a comparison group that received Differential Response treatment (DR) or PSOP. Measures utilized include public records using the state’s social services administration services (SSIS). Results indicate that the PSOP group experienced significantly fewer CPS reports and out of home placements and was more likely to receive adult mental health services than similar families in the DR program. Limitations include lack of randomization; lack of control group; lack of generalizability due to sample limited to Minnesota counties; and inherent use of administrative measures, as it may not capture all cases of child maltreatment or accurately capture use of social services.

Length of controlled postintervention follow-up: 2–4 years.

Additional References

Institute of Applied Research. (2009). Minnesota Parent Support Outreach Program evaluation: Final report.

Thompson, D., Siegel, G. L., & Loma, L. A. (2008). The Parent Support Outreach Program: Minnesota’s early intervention track, Protecting Children, 23(1 & 2), 23–29.

Contact Information

Charlotte McDonald, MSW, LICSW
Agency/Affiliation: Minnesota Department of Human Services, Child Safety and Permanency Division
Phone: (651) 431-4972

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: October 2023

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2021

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: December 2011