Family Preservation

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Family Preservation 1

Running Head: Preservation



Family Preservation 2


The scope of my paper will address family preservation. Should families be separated because parents inherited bad parenting skills which mirror an absence of stability, consistency and organizational skills within the home? Are the Social Service programs that are currently in place really the answer in all cases; are they exercising exceptional operations management skills within the scope of services advertised or are they doing more harm than good? Should there be exceptions and interceptions in place in an attempt to reconcile and promote healthy relationships to keep a family actively functioning together? All of these questions bring me to my topic on family preservation. In our current study, operations management, we are learning to identify important characteristics on the behavior within an organization, a group of people identified by a shared interest or purpose. The functionality of ones household can be contributed to operations management, and many times, families are not equipped with the training or resources to accomplish necessary goals resulting in the functioning capacity less than that permitted by law.

Family Preservation 3
Family preservation is a social service program that is in effect in most states, and is housed by each state’s Department of Human Resources. The program is designed to keep families together by providing short term support and intervention services to children and families in their home, where the family unit can be observed, evaluated and treated together. It is based on the premise that birth families are the preferred means of providing family life for children, whenever that is possible. This paper addresses the history, legal policy, ethical, practice issues and possible demise of family preservation in the absence of practical operations management tactics.

The term family preservation was initially applied to “Homebuilders”, a foster care placement prevention program developed in 1974 in Tacoma, Washington. The Homebuilders model called for short-term, time-limited services provided to the entire family within their home. Services were provided to families with children who were at risk of being placed into foster care.

The program was based on crisis intervention theory. This theory says that families that are about to have a child placed in foster care would be more open to receiving services and learning new behaviors. Social learning theory also played a part in defining the Homebuilders model. Social learning theory rejects the belief that changes in thinking and feeling must precede changes in behavior. Instead, behavior, beliefs and expectations influence each other in a reciprocal manner.

Family Preservation 4
Initially, the program was expected to serve families with older youth who were referred from mental health agencies. Subsequently, the program was used to serve families with children 0-18 who were referred from child welfare agencies. Key program characteristics included: contact with the family within 24 hours of a crisis; caseload sizes of one or two families per worker; service duration of four to six weeks; provision of both concrete services and counseling, with an emphasis on techniques that change behaviors and responses among family members; staff availability to families 24 hours per day, seven days per week and an average of 20 hours of service per family per week. In addition, the program was characterized by a philosophy of treating families with respect, emphasizing the strengths of family members and providing both counseling and concrete services.

Since the early 1970s, the term "family preservation" has been used to describe a variety of programs that are intended to provide services to children and families who are experiencing serious problems that may eventually lead to the...
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