Topic: Family Stabilization Programs
Definition for Family Stabilization Programs:
Family Stabilization Programs are defined by the CEBC as programs designed to ensure the safety and well-being of children and youth in their homes; prevent their initial placement or re-entry into foster care; and preserve, support, and stabilize their families. Family stabilization programs are aimed at families who have come to the attention of child welfare services and are in crisis and/or facing imminent risk of removal. Terms commonly used to describe Family stabilization programs may include family preservation, family support, family engagement, home visiting, and place-based services (these are usually housed in a community or neighborhood center, but have an in-home component providing parenting classes, after school programs, and other family services aimed at supporting, stabilizing, and maintaining intact families). Family stabilization programs may include the services that are delivered to families through the differential response process.
- Target population: Families who have come to the attention of child welfare services and are in crisis and/or facing imminent risk of having their child(ren) removed
- Services/types that fit: Assessment, case planning, case management, education, and/or skill building
- Delivered by: Child welfare workers, mental health professionals, or trained paraprofessionals
- In order to be included: Program must specifically target prevention of out-of-home placement as a goal
- In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by Scientific Rating Scale) that examines changes in child welfare outcomes for families (reduced out-of-home placement, decreased recidivism, etc.)
Programs in this Topic Area
The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.
One Program with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:
- Homebuilders®Families with children (birth to 18) at imminent risk of placement into, or needing intensive services to return from, foster care, ...
Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:
- Family Centered Treatment (FCT)Families with members at imminent risk of placement into, or needing intensive services to return from, treatment facilities, foster care, ...
- Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)Children who are abused/neglected and their family groups
- Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START)Families with at least one child under 6 years of age who are in the child welfare system and have a ...
Eight Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:
- Cultural Broker ProgramFamilies with children ages 0-17 at risk of involvement or currently involved with the child welfare system including birth parents, ...
- Families First of MichiganChildren who are at high risk of removal from their families due to abuse or neglect
- Foster Care RedesignChildren of all ages, especially minority populations and those with diverse ethnicities, who are at risk of entering the child ...
- Functional Family Therapy Child Welfare® (FFT - CW®)Children and adolescents up to 17 years of age and their parent/caregivers and other family members who were referred to ...
- Minority Youth and Family Initiative for African-Americans (MYFI)African American children and families involved with the child welfare system
- Minority Youth and Family Initiative for American Indian/Alaskan Native Children (MYFI)American Indian and Alaskan Native children and families
- Mockingbird Family Model, The (MFM)The Mockingbird Family ModelChildren, adolescents, and foster families
- Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP)Families at risk of child maltreatment as identified by screened out child maltreatment reports, community referrals, or self-referral; families that ...
Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?
The Family Stabilization Programs topic area is relevant to child welfare because a primary goal of child welfare is to strengthen families and prevent unnecessary placement of children and youth. Too often, children are removed from their families because there are insufficient services to support and strengthen the family and ensure safety. Agencies need to know about alternatives to removal and placement and which types of services/programs are most effective in stabilizing the family, building family strengths, and maintaining safety.
Former CEBC Advisory Committee Member
Brad Richardson, PhD
Research Director, The University of Iowa School of Social Work
National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice
Iowa City, IA