2What is Family Support?A set of beliefs & an approach to strengthening & empowering families & communitiesGrassroots, community-based programs designed to promote family cohesion & prevent family problemsA shift in service deliveryA movement for social change
3How does family support work? Interventions are comprehensive and within the context of the family and the communityInterventions promote positive behaviors & outcomes, instead of just treating problems
4How does family support work? Interventions focus on family-identified needs & hopes, not the wishes of professionalsInterventions see the family as a part of its larger community
5How does family support work? Interventions help strengthen the family’s networks and use those networks as the major source of support
6What is the goal of family support? To help families learn and use the knowledge and skills they need to be effective as a family within their community
7How can you tell if it’s family support? Relationships are built on equality & respectFamilies learn how to get what they needFamilies are involved at every step of the wayFamily strengths are recognized and built on
8How can you tell if it’s family support? The diversity and cultural, racial, and language identities of families are celebrated & affirmedCommunities are strengthenedThere is advocacy for fair, responsive & accountable systems
9What is “promotion of strong families” Also known as “primary prevention”:Targets the general populationOffers services & activities before any signs of undesired behaviorsAvailable to all regardless of family status
10What is “prevention?” Prevention includes: Promotion, or primary preventionSecondary prevention, targeted to families “at risk” before negative behaviors occurTertiary prevention, provided to reduce the impact of negative behaviors & prevent their reoccurrence
11Standards for Family Support Programs The factors for effective family support programs include:Beliefs in the principles of family supportEffective PracticeEffective administration
12Belief in Family Support Ideas Family-centeredCommunity-basedCulturally sensitive and culturally competentEarly startDevelopmentally appropriateFamilies are partnersEmpowerment & strengths-based
13Effective Practice Standards Flexible & responsiveBased in partnershipLinks with formal & informal supportsUniversally available & voluntaryComprehensive & integrated/coordinatedEasily accessibleLong term and as intense as needed
14Effective Administration Standards Sound program structure, design & practicesCommitted, caring staffData collection & documentationMeasures outcomes & conducts evaluationAdequate funding & long range plansCollaborates with families & communities
15BELIEFS: Family-Centered Children are part of & are influenced by their familiesFamilies are part of & are influenced by their communitiesCommunities are part of & are influenced by our larger society
18Environmental Influences Society’s value of children & familiesNeighborhood conditionsIncome-related stressorsPolitical factorsHousingTolerance/media portrayal of violenceDiscrimination & prejudice
19BELIEFS: Community-based Supports & services are available locally where families live, work, attend schoolSupports & services contribute to community-building
20Community empowerment Shared responsibility, not just professional responsibilityPower resides in communities, not agenciesCommunities, not professionals, are the expertsServices & activities are planned & implemented based on community needs & priorities
21Community empowerment Interdependency & coordination of planning & services, not fragmentationCommunity-based leadership that develops shared vision, broad support, & management of community problem-solving, not external leadership based on authority, position or title
22Community empowerment Appreciation of racial, ethnic, language diversity, not denial of differencesEmphasis on cooperation & collaboration rather than external linkages limited to networking & coordination
23Community empowerment Inclusive, not closed, decision-makingAccountability to community, not agencyEvaluation to check program development & evaluation, not just to raise fundsFunding based on critical issues, not “categories”Maximum community involvement at all levels, not just feedback or input
24Family Strengthening Pyramid Pre- and post-birth care & mother-child bondingParent educationChild care/respiteEarly childhood educationSchool climate improvementComprehensive health educationEarly substance abuse preventionLaw-related educationPeer & other supports
25Family Strengthening Pyramid Stress reliefMeaningful work & community serviceWorksite wellnessAlternativesCommunity educationHealth screening & assessmentsAlternative health practicesMedia influenceSpiritual developmentFun
26BELIEFS: Culturally sensitive & competent Affirm family cultural, ethnic, racial, & language identityPromote cross-cultural understanding & respect for differencesHelp families navigate the dominant US society & cultureWork to make society more supportive of all families
27BELIEFS: Early startSupport families before negative patterns are establishedHelp families understand child development & their child’s unique strengths & needs
28BELIEFS: Developmentally appropriate Relevant to the ages & developmental levels of children & familiesUnderstanding of the unique needs at each stage in the life span of children & families
29Developmentally appropriate Child development is the ages & stages a child goes through:PhysicallyEmotionallySociallyIntellectually
30Developmentally appropriate Stages of family development are related to:Age(s) of their child(ren)Transitions families experienceParent(s) aging process
31BELIEFS: Family-Professional Partnership Families & professionals work together in relationships based on equality & mutual respectFamilies are partners on the individual, program, agency, & systemic levels
32Family-Professional Partnership Important techniques:Active listeningEmpathySincere caringRecognition & appreciation of existing knowledge & skillsFocus on strengthening knowledge & skillsShared decision-making
33Families as AssetsNational policy should be built on a recognition that families are the essential unit of civic engagement & democracyEach family must be recognized & acknowledged as unique & individualAll families have common human needs & require different levels of social investment at different times in their life span
34Families as AssetsInvestments in families & children become assets in the development of strong communities that participate in the larger goodChildren are our future, our legacy, & our responsibilityEach of us can make a contribution to the future generations of all children.
35BELIEFS: Empowering & Strengths-Based Build on the knowledge & skills of families & communitiesHelp families realize their own strengths to promote the healthy development of their children
36Empowering & Strengths-Based Recognize that everyone has strengthsCreate opportunities for learning & use of new skills & knowledgeSupport self-efficacy, self-reliance, positive mental health, competency, mastery of skills: “assets-building”
37ASSESSING BELIEFS Is it family-centered? Is it community-based? Involve all possible participants, such as child, parents, family members, caregivers?Is it community-based?Reinforce outcomes in home & community?Engage community members in program development, implementation & ownership?Recognize the role of community members in supporting families?Use informal & formal supports needed by family?
38ASSESSING BELIEFS Is it culturally sensitive & competent? Promote & strengthen cultural identity & diversity?Does it provide an early start?Work with families BEFORE negative patterns start – even before birth as needed?Is it developmentally appropriate?Meet the needs of children & families/caregivers at their stage(s) of development?
39ASSESSING BELIEFS Are families partners with staff/professionals? Treat families as partners & collaborate, as evidenced by involving families in planning & decision-making & promoting self-reliance?Are empowering & strengths-based approaches used?Are the strengths & abilities of families identified & built upon?
40EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Flexible & Responsive Tailor practices to the needs of diverse familiesProvide supports as needed by familiesServices are flexible in type, language, etc., & change as neededServices respond to emerging family & community issues
41EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Partnership Approaches Families influence policies & practicesCoordination & collaboration among service providers is maximizedFamilies & professionals advocate together for fair, responsive, & accountable services & systems
42EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Linkages with Supports Professionals work with families to mobilize formal & informal resources to support familiesProfessionals work with families & communities to build community supports
43EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Linkages with Supports Supports include:SchoolsNeighborhoodsReligious institutionsPeers, friendsMediaHealth care providersPolicymakers
44EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Universally Available & Voluntary Programs, supports & services are offered to the broad communityPrograms, supports, & services are seen as an opportunity to learn & grow, not to “fix” dysfunctionParticipation is voluntary
45EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Comprehensive & coordinated Multiple supports are available & used to reinforce positive outcomesFamilies have access to comprehensive information & coordinated resourcesSupports are available as long as neededFamilies can access “one-stop” services
46EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Easily Accessible Services are available in non-threatening environments that are convenient to familiesServices are available at the times that families can take advantage of themSupports are provided for participation
47EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Easily Accessible Services are available to wide range of families without limiting eligibility standardsEffective outreach to diverse communities ensures that families are aware of available services
48EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Long Term & Adequate Intensity Services are provided for as long as needed and to the extent neededServices respond to changing needsServices provide opportunities to celebrate short-term successes & work to maintain long-term positive outcomes
49EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Long-term & Adequate Intensity Time needed is taken to develop trust, identify all needed services & supports, & comprehensively address needs through building knowledge & mastering skills
50ASSESSING EFFECTIVE PRACTICES Are services flexible & responsive?Are services flexible to respond to unique needs or circumstances of families?Can service intensity be varied based on needs?Are services offered at convenient times & locations?Are incentives & supports (childcare, transportation, refreshments) for participation provided?
51ASSESSING EFFECTIVE PRACTICES Are effective partnership approaches used?Are families recognized & treated as partners?Are families provided with the supports they need for effective partnership?Are services provided in partnership with other providers, to ensure coordination?Are participants linked with formal & informal supports?
52ASSESSING EFFECTIVE PRACTICES Are services universally available & voluntary?Are services offered to a broad range of families, not just families with problems?Are families who request services able to access them?Are services comprehensive, coordinated & integrated?Do programs bring all needed services together for easy access by families?
53ASSESSING EFFECTIVE PRACTICES Are services easily accessible?Are services in non-threatening & convenient locations & times?Can families easily access staff when needed?Are families aware of services & how to access them?Are services long-term & with adequate intensity?Are services provided with the frequency & intensity needed?Do services continue even after short-term successes to ensure maintenance of desired outcomes?
54EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Importance of effective administration & management of:Overall agencies & organizationsPrograms within agencies
57EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Programs Program structure, components, design & proceduresPractices related to interactions with families servedFunding of programSupervision, staff development, & trainingPertinent certifications & licensures
58EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Programs Annual program work plan & long-range plans for the programRecord-keepingEvaluation & reportingUse of advisory groupsCooperative & collaborative relationships with other programs & groups
59EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Sound Program Structure, Design, & Practices Program activities reflect the beliefs & incorporate effective practice standards for promotion/prevention programsFamily support principles are modeled in all program activities – planning, governance, & administration
60EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Sound Program Structure, Design, & Practices Design, procedures, & timeframes for implementation are documented & understandable to staff & familiesProgram manuals reflect concepts, practices, & administrative standards of the program
61EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Committed, Caring Staff Quality of staff & their ability to interact effectively with families & other professionals is keyStaff & families work together in relationships based on equality & mutual respectStaff are warm, empathetic, effective listeners, & use a strength-based approachAdequate staff training & supervision is provided
62EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Dissemination Service levels & outcomes are collected & reported to staff, Board, & families, & communityRelevant data is gathered at all stages from diverse sourcesStaff are trained in record-keeping & report preparation
63EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Intake data:Source of referralFamily structure & membershipMajor strengthsMajor concerns/issuesAvailable resources & sources of supportVoluntary nature of participation
64EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Service summary data:Frequency & intensity of service(s) provided over time#s of families receiving services & supportsTypes of services providedInformation on who is providing services
65EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Descriptive Data:Length of time of serviceLevel of family’s participationExtent of goals achievedReason for termination of services
66EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcomes Measures & Evaluation Use of quantitative & qualitative data to evaluate program effectiveness & accomplishment of desired outcomesIdentify changes in circumstances, knowledge, skill, attitudes, behaviors
67EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcome Measures & Evaluation Evaluation tools are:Relevant to programRelevant to familiesRelevant to characteristics of effective research (reliability & validity)Relevant to current parenting normsRelevant to staff skill setsRelevant to fiscal constraints of agency
68EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcome Measures & Evaluation Strongest evaluations:Random assignment of participantsLarge enough sample sizeShort & long-term resultsBehaviors not just attitudes or beliefsProper statistical analysesPublish positive & negative resultsIncludes replication of successful programsUses independent evaluators
69EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcome Measures & Evaluation Evaluate benefits gained by families:Evidence of more effective parenting knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviorsEvidence of ability to cope with stressesImproved parent-child communication or bondingEnhanced ability to care for child(ren)’s physical & developmental needsIncreased social supports & decreased risk indicators
70EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Adequate Funding & Long Range Plan Stable & long-term funding is available for ongoing program implementationElements include:Financial stabilityAnnual & long-term plans for implementation, responding to family feedback, & addressing resource needsMeet accreditation, licensure & tax-exempt requirements as needed
71EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Collaboration with Families & Communities Advisory groups, collaborations, & input foster family & community involvementFamilies & communities are involved in all program activities: planning, governance, administration, & evaluation
72EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Collaboration with Families & Communities The engagement & support of families & communities is key to sustaining & funding family support programsParticipation ideas:Focus groupsFamily/community surveysFollow-up questionnairesAdvisory groupsParticipation of families & community representatives on boards of directors
73ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Does the program have sound structure, design, & practices?Is the agency conducting the program strong & stable, as evidenced by past success?Does the agency have documented program, management, & fiscal procedures in place?Are timeframes written & realistic?
74ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Does the program incorporate critical beliefs & effective practices?Does the program follow an established & researched model?Is the program a good fit for the intended targeted population (families & community)?
75ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Does the program have committed, caring staff?Are direct service staff caring, empathetic, sensitive, and dedicated?Are staff strong, credible, experienced, culturally-competent & credentialed?Are adequate training & supervision provided at the onset & ongoing?
76ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Does the program have adequate data collection & documentation?Are record-keeping documents in place & ready for use in a timely manner?Is the infrastructure adequate to manage data collection & preparation of reports?
77ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Does the program measure outcomes & conduct evaluations?Are well-defined & quantified levels of service routinely recorded?Are relevant outcomes measured?Is there a process in place for routine analysis of data on outcomes?Are evaluations shared with staff, Board, families & communities?Are evaluations used to improve services?
78ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Does the program have adequate funding & long-range plans?Is the anticipated funding in line with the long-range plans?Are adequate funds available for current & long-term provision of effective services?Are long-term plans realistic & in line with family & community needs?
79ASSESSING EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Do programs involve families & communities as equal partners & collaborators?Is family/community involvement evident through the use of advisory groups, family feedback surveys, focus groups, &/or other means?Is continued involvement by families & community members welcomed & used?
80Family Strengthening & Support: Critical for Child Welfare The most effective way to keep our children safe & healthy is to ensure that their families are strong from the start.The most effective intervention is promotion & prevention.