The Children’s Home Family-Centered Support Program provides a structured system of supports to facilitate increased involvement and participation of family resources (i.e., parent, guardian, sibling, extended family) in residents’ out-of-home placement and treatment. Family involvement is essential to maintaining or reconnecting familial ties, rebuilding and healing weakened or damaged family relationships, and developing positive relationships with new or prospective resources. The program teaches the skills necessary to function as a family and facilitate permanent reunification with families when possible.
This project impacts family involvement and participation through planned supports such as incentives, transportation assistance, organized social activities, structured family visits, and parent training opportunities.
The Family-Centered Support Program includes a variety of activities. Family Nights activities provide opportunities for families to spend quality time together and participate in in-depth discussions on familial topics. The topics are often chosen by the participants and generally focus on challenges of youth in out-of-home placement. These discussions are educational as well as supportive to family members and residents.
Also, The Children’s Home encourages, when appropriate, family participation and input in resident’s treatment process to address the issues/problems that necessitated removal from his/her home. Residents with family reunification as their discharge/permanency plan require strong and consistent family involvement in their care and treatment.
The Children’s Home makes provisions for family members to participate in activities, treatment planning, and visitations. Historically, families are impeded from providing adequate familial support and advocacy for their children because of the lack of transportation, trust issues with “the system” with the Home as extension of that system, and perceived stigma of treatment and having a child in care. The Family-Centered Support Program is designed to overcome these barriers by providing transportation and conducting programs in a relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere.
The successful implementation of the Family-Centered Support Program helps maintain the connection with the family, teaches the skills necessary to function as a family, and facilitates a permanent reunification with the family when possible.