2 What 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
3 How 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
4 How 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
5 How does family support work? Interventions help strengthen the family’s networks and use those networks as the major source of support
6 What 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
7 How 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
8 How 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
9 What 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
10 What 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
11 Standards for Family Support Programs The factors for effective family support programs include:Beliefs in the principles of family supportEffective PracticeEffective administration
12 Belief in Family Support Ideas Family-centeredCommunity-basedCulturally sensitive and culturally competentEarly startDevelopmentally appropriateFamilies are partnersEmpowerment & strengths-based
13 Effective Practice Standards Flexible & responsiveBased in partnershipLinks with formal & informal supportsUniversally available & voluntaryComprehensive & integrated/coordinatedEasily accessibleLong term and as intense as needed
14 Effective Administration Standards Sound program structure, design & practicesCommitted, caring staffData collection & documentationMeasures outcomes & conducts evaluationAdequate funding & long range plansCollaborates with families & communities
15 BELIEFS: 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
18 Environmental Influences Society’s value of children & familiesNeighborhood conditionsIncome-related stressorsPolitical factorsHousingTolerance/media portrayal of violenceDiscrimination & prejudice
19 BELIEFS: Community-based Supports & services are available locally where families live, work, attend schoolSupports & services contribute to community-building
20 Community 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
21 Community 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
22 Community empowerment Appreciation of racial, ethnic, language diversity, not denial of differencesEmphasis on cooperation & collaboration rather than external linkages limited to networking & coordination
23 Community 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
24 Family 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
25 Family Strengthening Pyramid Stress reliefMeaningful work & community serviceWorksite wellnessAlternativesCommunity educationHealth screening & assessmentsAlternative health practicesMedia influenceSpiritual developmentFun
26 BELIEFS: 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
27 BELIEFS: Early startSupport families before negative patterns are establishedHelp families understand child development & their child’s unique strengths & needs
28 BELIEFS: 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
29 Developmentally appropriate Child development is the ages & stages a child goes through:PhysicallyEmotionallySociallyIntellectually
30 Developmentally appropriate Stages of family development are related to:Age(s) of their child(ren)Transitions families experienceParent(s) aging process
31 BELIEFS: Family-Professional Partnership Families & professionals work together in relationships based on equality & mutual respectFamilies are partners on the individual, program, agency, & systemic levels
32 Family-Professional Partnership Important techniques:Active listeningEmpathySincere caringRecognition & appreciation of existing knowledge & skillsFocus on strengthening knowledge & skillsShared decision-making
33 Families 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
34 Families 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.
35 BELIEFS: Empowering & Strengths-Based Build on the knowledge & skills of families & communitiesHelp families realize their own strengths to promote the healthy development of their children
36 Empowering & 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”
37 ASSESSING 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?
38 ASSESSING 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?
39 ASSESSING 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?
40 EFFECTIVE 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
41 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Partnership Approaches Families influence policies & practicesCoordination & collaboration among service providers is maximizedFamilies & professionals advocate together for fair, responsive, & accountable services & systems
42 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Linkages with Supports Professionals work with families to mobilize formal & informal resources to support familiesProfessionals work with families & communities to build community supports
43 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Linkages with Supports Supports include:SchoolsNeighborhoodsReligious institutionsPeers, friendsMediaHealth care providersPolicymakers
44 EFFECTIVE 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
45 EFFECTIVE 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
46 EFFECTIVE 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
47 EFFECTIVE 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
48 EFFECTIVE 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
49 EFFECTIVE 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
50 ASSESSING 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?
51 ASSESSING 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?
52 ASSESSING 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?
53 ASSESSING 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?
54 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Importance of effective administration & management of:Overall agencies & organizationsPrograms within agencies
57 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Programs Program structure, components, design & proceduresPractices related to interactions with families servedFunding of programSupervision, staff development, & trainingPertinent certifications & licensures
58 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Programs Annual program work plan & long-range plans for the programRecord-keepingEvaluation & reportingUse of advisory groupsCooperative & collaborative relationships with other programs & groups
59 EFFECTIVE 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
60 EFFECTIVE 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
61 EFFECTIVE 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
62 EFFECTIVE 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
63 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Intake data:Source of referralFamily structure & membershipMajor strengthsMajor concerns/issuesAvailable resources & sources of supportVoluntary nature of participation
64 EFFECTIVE 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
65 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Descriptive Data:Length of time of serviceLevel of family’s participationExtent of goals achievedReason for termination of services
66 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcomes Measures & Evaluation Use of quantitative & qualitative data to evaluate program effectiveness & accomplishment of desired outcomesIdentify changes in circumstances, knowledge, skill, attitudes, behaviors
67 EFFECTIVE 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
68 EFFECTIVE 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
69 EFFECTIVE 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
70 EFFECTIVE 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
71 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Collaboration with Families & Communities Advisory groups, collaborations, & input foster family & community involvementFamilies & communities are involved in all program activities: planning, governance, administration, & evaluation
72 EFFECTIVE 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
73 ASSESSING 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?
74 ASSESSING 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)?
75 ASSESSING 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?
76 ASSESSING 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?
77 ASSESSING 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?
78 ASSESSING 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?
79 ASSESSING 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?
80 Family 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.