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1 Strengthening Families: The Key to Safe & Healthy Children Standards for Family-Serving Programs: Building Success through Family Support Developed by.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Strengthening Families: The Key to Safe & Healthy Children Standards for Family-Serving Programs: Building Success through Family Support Developed by."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Strengthening Families: The Key to Safe & Healthy Children Standards for Family-Serving Programs: Building Success through Family Support Developed by the NJ Task Force on Child Abuse & Neglect & Family Support America © Statewide Parent Advocacy Network 2004

2 2 What is Family Support? A set of beliefs & an approach to strengthening & empowering families & communities Grassroots, community- based programs designed to promote family cohesion & prevent family problems A shift in service delivery A movement for social change

3 3 How does family support work? Interventions are comprehensive and within the context of the family and the community Interventions promote positive behaviors & outcomes, instead of just treating problems

4 4 How does family support work? Interventions focus on family-identified needs & hopes, not the wishes of professionals Interventions see the family as a part of its larger community

5 5 How does family support work? Interventions help strengthen the family’s networks and use those networks as the major source of support

6 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 7 How can you tell if it’s family support? Relationships are built on equality & respect Families learn how to get what they need Families are involved at every step of the way Family strengths are recognized and built on

8 8 How can you tell if it’s family support? The diversity and cultural, racial, and language identities of families are celebrated & affirmed Communities are strengthened There is advocacy for fair, responsive & accountable systems

9 9 What is “promotion of strong families” Also known as “primary prevention”: –Targets the general population –Offers services & activities before any signs of undesired behaviors –Available to all regardless of family status

10 10 What is “prevention?” Prevention includes: –Promotion, or primary prevention –Secondary prevention, targeted to families “at risk” before negative behaviors occur –Tertiary prevention, provided to reduce the impact of negative behaviors & prevent their reoccurrence

11 11 Standards for Family Support Programs The factors for effective family support programs include: –Beliefs in the principles of family support –Effective Practice –Effective administration

12 12 Belief in Family Support Ideas Family-centered Community-based Culturally sensitive and culturally competent Early start Developmentally appropriate Families are partners Empowerment & strengths-based

13 13 Effective Practice Standards Flexible & responsive Based in partnership Links with formal & informal supports Universally available & voluntary Comprehensive & integrated/coordinated Easily accessible Long term and as intense as needed

14 14 Effective Administration Standards Sound program structure, design & practices Committed, caring staff Data collection & documentation Measures outcomes & conducts evaluation Adequate funding & long range plans Collaborates with families & communities

15 15 BELIEFS: Family-Centered Children are part of & are influenced by their families Families are part of & are influenced by their communities Communities are part of & are influenced by our larger society

16 16 Individual Influences Parent readiness Parenting knowledge Attitudes & beliefs Self-esteem Stress Mental Health Substance abuse

17 17 Interpersonal & Societal Influences Marital factors Lack of child care Parents Special needs Isolation Domestic violence

18 18 Environmental Influences Society’s value of children & families Neighborhood conditions Income-related stressors Political factors Housing Tolerance/media portrayal of violence Discrimination & prejudice

19 19 BELIEFS: Community-based Supports & services are available locally where families live, work, attend school Supports & services contribute to community-building

20 20 Community empowerment Shared responsibility, not just professional responsibility Power resides in communities, not agencies Communities, not professionals, are the experts Services & activities are planned & implemented based on community needs & priorities

21 21 Community empowerment Interdependency & coordination of planning & services, not fragmentation Community-based leadership that develops shared vision, broad support, & management of community problem- solving, not external leadership based on authority, position or title

22 22 Community empowerment Appreciation of racial, ethnic, language diversity, not denial of differences Emphasis on cooperation & collaboration rather than external linkages limited to networking & coordination

23 23 Community empowerment Inclusive, not closed, decision-making Accountability to community, not agency Evaluation to check program development & evaluation, not just to raise funds Funding based on critical issues, not “categories” Maximum community involvement at all levels, not just feedback or input

24 24 Family Strengthening Pyramid Pre- and post-birth care & mother-child bonding Parent education Child care/respite Early childhood education School climate improvement Comprehensive health education Early substance abuse prevention Law-related education Peer & other supports

25 25 Family Strengthening Pyramid Stress relief Meaningful work & community service Worksite wellness Alternatives Community education Health screening & assessments Alternative health practices Media influence Spiritual development Fun

26 26 BELIEFS: Culturally sensitive & competent Affirm family cultural, ethnic, racial, & language identity Promote cross-cultural understanding & respect for differences Help families navigate the dominant US society & culture Work to make society more supportive of all families

27 27 BELIEFS: Early start Support families before negative patterns are established Help families understand child development & their child’s unique strengths & needs

28 28 BELIEFS: Developmentally appropriate Relevant to the ages & developmental levels of children & families Understanding of the unique needs at each stage in the life span of children & families

29 29 Developmentally appropriate Child development is the ages & stages a child goes through: –Physically –Emotionally –Socially –Intellectually

30 30 Developmentally appropriate Stages of family development are related to: –Age(s) of their child(ren) –Transitions families experience –Parent(s) aging process

31 31 BELIEFS: Family-Professional Partnership Families & professionals work together in relationships based on equality & mutual respect Families are partners on the individual, program, agency, & systemic levels

32 32 Family-Professional Partnership Important techniques: –Active listening –Empathy –Sincere caring –Recognition & appreciation of existing knowledge & skills –Focus on strengthening knowledge & skills –Shared decision-making

33 33 Families as Assets National policy should be built on a recognition that families are the essential unit of civic engagement & democracy Each family must be recognized & acknowledged as unique & individual All families have common human needs & require different levels of social investment at different times in their life span

34 34 Families as Assets Investments in families & children become assets in the development of strong communities that participate in the larger good Children are our future, our legacy, & our responsibility Each of us can make a contribution to the future generations of all children.

35 35 BELIEFS: Empowering & Strengths-Based Build on the knowledge & skills of families & communities Help families realize their own strengths to promote the healthy development of their children

36 36 Empowering & Strengths-Based Recognize that everyone has strengths Create opportunities for learning & use of new skills & knowledge Support self-efficacy, self- reliance, positive mental health, competency, mastery of skills: “assets- building”

37 37 ASSESSING BELIEFS Is it family-centered? –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 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 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 40 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Flexible & Responsive Tailor practices to the needs of diverse families Provide supports as needed by families Services are flexible in type, language, etc., & change as needed Services respond to emerging family & community issues

41 41 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Partnership Approaches Families influence policies & practices Coordination & collaboration among service providers is maximized Families & professionals advocate together for fair, responsive, & accountable services & systems

42 42 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Linkages with Supports Professionals work with families to mobilize formal & informal resources to support families Professionals work with families & communities to build community supports

43 43 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Linkages with Supports Supports include: –Schools –Neighborhoods –Religious institutions –Peers, friends –Media –Health care providers –Policymakers

44 44 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Universally Available & Voluntary Programs, supports & services are offered to the broad community Programs, supports, & services are seen as an opportunity to learn & grow, not to “fix” dysfunction Participation is voluntary

45 45 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Comprehensive & coordinated Multiple supports are available & used to reinforce positive outcomes Families have access to comprehensive information & coordinated resources Supports are available as long as needed Families can access “one- stop” services

46 46 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Easily Accessible Services are available in non-threatening environments that are convenient to families Services are available at the times that families can take advantage of them Supports are provided for participation

47 47 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Easily Accessible Services are available to wide range of families without limiting eligibility standards Effective outreach to diverse communities ensures that families are aware of available services

48 48 EFFECTIVE PRACTICES: Long Term & Adequate Intensity Services are provided for as long as needed and to the extent needed Services respond to changing needs Services provide opportunities to celebrate short-term successes & work to maintain long- term positive outcomes

49 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 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 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 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 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 54 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION Importance of effective administration & management of: –Overall agencies & organizations –Programs within agencies

55 55 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Agency/Organization Administrative structure Budget/financial management Funding & overall resource development Board of directors Human resources & personnel management Facility operations

56 56 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Agency/Organization Organizational policies & procedures Quality assurance & outcome measures Long-term & strategic planning Public relations & marketing Community support & collaboration

57 57 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Programs Program structure, components, design & procedures Practices related to interactions with families served Funding of program Supervision, staff development, & training Pertinent certifications & licensures

58 58 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Programs Annual program work plan & long-range plans for the program Record-keeping Evaluation & reporting Use of advisory groups Cooperative & collaborative relationships with other programs & groups

59 59 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Sound Program Structure, Design, & Practices Program activities reflect the beliefs & incorporate effective practice standards for promotion/prevention programs Family support principles are modeled in all program activities – planning, governance, & administration

60 60 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Sound Program Structure, Design, & Practices Design, procedures, & timeframes for implementation are documented & understandable to staff & families Program manuals reflect concepts, practices, & administrative standards of the program

61 61 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Committed, Caring Staff Quality of staff & their ability to interact effectively with families & other professionals is key Staff & families work together in relationships based on equality & mutual respect Staff are warm, empathetic, effective listeners, & use a strength-based approach Adequate staff training & supervision is provided

62 62 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Dissemination Service levels & outcomes are collected & reported to staff, Board, & families, & community Relevant data is gathered at all stages from diverse sources Staff are trained in record- keeping & report preparation

63 63 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Intake data: –Source of referral –Family structure & membership –Major strengths –Major concerns/issues –Available resources & sources of support –Voluntary nature of participation

64 64 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Service summary data: –Frequency & intensity of service(s) provided over time –#s of families receiving services & supports –Types of services provided –Information on who is providing services

65 65 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Data Collection & Documentation Descriptive Data: –Length of time of service –Level of family’s participation –Extent of goals achieved –Reason for termination of services

66 66 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcomes Measures & Evaluation Use of quantitative & qualitative data to evaluate program effectiveness & accomplishment of desired outcomes Identify changes in circumstances, knowledge, skill, attitudes, behaviors

67 67 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcome Measures & Evaluation Evaluation tools are: –Relevant to program –Relevant to families –Relevant to characteristics of effective research (reliability & validity) –Relevant to current parenting norms –Relevant to staff skill sets –Relevant to fiscal constraints of agency

68 68 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcome Measures & Evaluation Strongest evaluations: –Random assignment of participants –Large enough sample size –Short & long-term results –Behaviors not just attitudes or beliefs –Proper statistical analyses –Publish positive & negative results –Includes replication of successful programs –Uses independent evaluators

69 69 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Outcome Measures & Evaluation Evaluate benefits gained by families: –Evidence of more effective parenting knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors –Evidence of ability to cope with stresses –Improved parent-child communication or bonding –Enhanced ability to care for child(ren)’s physical & developmental needs –Increased social supports & decreased risk indicators

70 70 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Adequate Funding & Long Range Plan Stable & long-term funding is available for ongoing program implementation Elements include: –Financial stability –Annual & long-term plans for implementation, responding to family feedback, & addressing resource needs –Meet accreditation, licensure & tax-exempt requirements as needed

71 71 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Collaboration with Families & Communities Advisory groups, collaborations, & input foster family & community involvement Families & communities are involved in all program activities: planning, governance, administration, & evaluation

72 72 EFFECTIVE ADMINISTRATION: Collaboration with Families & Communities The engagement & support of families & communities is key to sustaining & funding family support programs Participation ideas: –Focus groups –Family/community surveys –Follow-up questionnaires –Advisory groups –Participation of families & community representatives on boards of directors

73 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.


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