What Is IFPS?
IFPS stands for Intensive Family Preservation Services. These services are designed to support families in which children are either at imminent risk of placement or have been placed outside their homes.
Principles in Working with Families
- The family is the best resource for the nurture, care, and well-being of children.
- The most durable way to help children is to help their parents.
- Keeping families safely together, whenever possible, must be the highest priority of government laws, policies, and funding.
- Because the integrity of the family is critical to its functioning, services to families must primarily focus on keeping families together or reunifying families when out-of-home placement is necessary.
- Services provided in the home demonstrate respect for families and allow for optimal assessment of needs and delivery of services.
- Families must be assessed for strengths as well as weaknesses. Strengths can be used to help address weaknesses.
- All members of the family can be offered services, including fathers, whether residing or not residing in the home. Involving fathers can have a beneficial effect on both the children and the children’s mother.
- Families must be involved in decisions about every aspect of an intervention: safety, assessment, goals, services, progress, placement (if necessary), and outcomes.
- Families must be empowered through services, not kept dependent on them. Services should be provided only until the family is stabilized and has the necessary skills to remain safely together. Families can then choose whether or not they want additional services.
- We owe families the best possible services at the lowest cost to whoever is paying for the services. All services must be evaluated for their effectiveness and cost-benefit.
IFPS Program Characteristics
- Safety is the highest priority
- Imminent out-of-home placement: key to eligibility for services (high risk, multiple-problem families)
- Highly trained and skilled workforce
- Timely response to families referred for services
- Staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Small caseloads (2-4 families)
- Intensive interventions (8-10 hours per week)
- Services delivered primarily in the family’s home
- Short-term services (4-8 weeks)
- Referrals to Ongoing Services and Step-down Services
- Use of reliable/valid assessment tool
- Clinical models of intervention and trauma-informed practice
- Concrete services
- Case consultation and supervision
- Continuous Quality Improvement
- Ongoing program evaluation