Definitions “Comprehensive family support” means the array of services and supports that assist families who are caring for a family member with a disability.
Services and supports include programs, services, parent-to-parent support, assertive devices, and various adaptations that allow children with disabilities to participate more fully in family and community life
“Family” means a group of interdependent persons living in the same household. A family may consist of an individual with a disability and any of the following: 1. The individual’s parent. 2. The individual’s sibling. 3. The individual’s grandparent, aunt, or uncle. 4. The individual’s legal custodian. “Family” does not include a person who is employed to provide services to an individual with a disability in an out-of- home setting, including hospital, nursing facility, personal care home, board and care home,
“Individual with a disability” means a person who meets the definition of disability. “Disability” The result of any physical or mental condition that affects or prevents ones ability to develop, achieve, and/or function in an educational setting at a normal rate
“Services and support” “Services and support” means services or other assistance intended to enable an individual with a disability to control the individual’s environment, to remain living with the individual’s family, to function more independently, and to integrate into the individual’s community.
Introduction to Individualized Family Support Program In our society, families serve as the main vehicle for children to participate in the community. Families play a critical role in the socialization of children in regards to leisure skills development, recreation and participation in community life. Families with a child who has a disability often need support to enhance the participation and community integration of their child.
Family support programs Family support programs provide an array of services to support and empower families with children and adolescents having disabilities and serious emotional problems. The goal of family support is to reduce family stress and enhance each familys ability to care for their child. To do this, family support programs operate on the principles of individualized care, and recognizing every child and family is unique in their strengths and needs.
Connecting family members to other families with children with serious emotional problems helps families to feel less isolated and identify their own strengths. Family workers at the Families First Support Center provide one- on-one support to families who are under stress or facing challenges such as having a first child, teen parenthood, or a child with a chronic illness.
Services include but are not limited to education and information, individual support, family support groups, and family recreation events.
Program include following things : Family support Services Planning & implementing family support programs. Parent support groups Early developmental screening Parent education Early childhood development Childcare & respite care services Home visiting Family resource centers
School-linked services Referral & linkage to resources Outreach Education & job skill development Specialized services for young parents Specialized services for kinship caregivers State and local examples Effectiveness of family support services
Family support services: Family support services are community-based services that assist and support parents in their role as caregivers. Family support services promote parental competency and healthy child development by helping parents enhance their strengths and resolve problems that can lead to child maltreatment, developmental delays, and family disruption.
Services: Services include: Peer support and counseling Early developmental screening Parent education Early childhood development Childcare Home visits Family resource centers School-linked services Recreation Job or skills Education or Training
Programs may address the general population or target particular groups such as ethnic/cultural minorities, adolescent parents, kinship caregivers, or families facing health, mental health, or substance abuse issues.
Planning & Implementing Family Support Programs Information and descriptions of efforts to plan and implement family support programs include types of services provided, policies and procedures, mission statements, vision statements, agreements, intake forms, assessments, checklists, permission forms, service plans, and details about funding streams and the programs supported.
Parent Support Groups Parent support groups help parents overcome feelings of isolation, develop support systems, and learn about successful parenting practices. Parent support groups foster self-acceptance and promote a sense of community
Early Developmental Screening Children with disabilities are at high risk for abuse and neglect and are more likely to experience maltreatment than children without disabilities. Developmental screening is a procedure designed to identify children who should receive more intensive assessment or diagnosis for potential developmental delays.
Screening results in earlier detection of delays and improved health and well- being for identified children. When delays are detected, parents can be provided with information about what to expect in their child’s development, how they can promote development, and the benefits of monitoring development. Such guidance promotes positive parent-child relationships, reducing the occurrence of child abuse and neglect.
Parent Education Parent education programs are community-based services that support parents in their roles as caregivers. Their goal is to promote parental competency and strengthen family life, to enhance healthy child and family development. Parent educators help parents strengthen their skills and knowledge of child development, prepare young children for school, and cope with behavioral challenges of children and adolescents. Over time, these programs may help prevent child maltreatment, reduce developmental delays, and enhance parent effectiveness.
Parent Education Programs Parent education programs focus on decreasing parenting practices and behaviors associated with child abuse and neglect. Participating parents develop and practice positive discipline techniques, learn age-appropriate child development skills, and receive support in increasing positive play and interaction with their children.
The following programs have been useful in supporting parents and strengthening parenting skills
Early Childhood Development Early childhood programs support families by offering activities that enhance parents protective characteristics. Typically, programs assess family needs, link families to community resources, provide counseling and parent education, respond to crises, and engage parents in leadership
The strategies are designed to alleviate stress, strengthen parent-child relationships, decrease feelings of social isolation, and make families more comfortable with receiving services. Early intervention services can range from specialized assistance for children at risk to parenting classes for the general public.
Childcare & Respite Care Services Quality childcare services enhance child development and provide support for all parents, including those at risk of abusive behavior. Such services may provide counseling, parent education, positive role modeling, emergency respite, and referrals to community services. Childcare providers are increasingly considered sources of family support beyond the direct care of children.
Home Visiting Home visiting programs support positive parent-child relationships, promote optimal child health and development, enhance parental self-sufficiency, and prevent child abuse and neglect. They focus on the importance of childrens early years and on the role parents play in child development.
By bringing services to families with young children, rather than expecting them to seek assistance in their communities, home visitors see the environments in which families live, gain a better understanding of families needs, and tailor services to meet those needs. Home visiting can reduce loneliness and isolation and serve as the first step in linking families to communities
Effectiveness of Home Visiting Although home visiting services were not always a formal part of family support efforts, they have become a popular method of delivering preventive and family support services. The increased interest among policymakers in home visiting as a means of reaching children and families early has sparked a number of efforts to measure its effectiveness
Family Resource Centers Family resource centers provide family support services by creating a central location for health, mental health, educational, and recreational services. As one-stop service and referral organizations, family resource centers are designed to control service duplication and encourage community involvement and cross-generational relationships.
Family resource centers promote community connections that empower families and enhance the lives of young children. Most centers provide core services such as medical care, counseling, parenting classes, and literacy classes; referrals for childcare and specialty medical services; and direct contact with early childhood and child development programs, including Head Start and home visitation.
School-Linked Services School-linked family support services are characterized by a holistic, ecological view that recognizes that children need a full range of services to be ready to learn and be successful in school, and that parents need assistance to support their childs education, health, growth, and development
Communities are improving service integration and accessibility by offering a wide array of services within the school or other neighborhood center. Service providers emphasize prevention of behavioral, emotional, academic, and social problems, including child abuse and neglect, juvenile delinquency, and family violence.
Effectiveness of School-Linked Services School-linked services provide easy access for children, youth, and families to information, support, and other services.
Referral & Linkage to Resources Families need assistance in identifying and accessing resources to meet basic needs and in securing community-based family support services. Child welfare and family resource and support organizations can work together to improve outcomes for families by referring child welfare clients to family resource programs and providing linkages between programs that serve the same clients. Program developers must think strategically about how an existing array of services might be augmented to form a continuum of supports and services for families
Outreach The goal of outreach in family support services is to reach families who might not otherwise participate in a family support program, obtain their involvement, and foster their participation in the community. The success of outreach efforts depends on the program providers ability to form community partnerships; target, educate, and engage families who can benefit from their services; and meet the needs and interests of these families in ways which will prove beneficial to them, their children, and the community
Education & Job Skill Development The cycle of poverty can have a long-term effect on children, contributing to and exacerbating child maltreatment, mental illness, substance abuse, homelessness, and other problems that create barriers to obtaining and maintaining employment as an adult
Education and job programs aimed at enhancing family economic success require workforce development, family economic supports, and community investment. An integrated system of social services and welfare services can help decision-makers identify the services needed to help families meet employment and income goals.
Specialized Services for Young Parents Adolescent parenting is associated with maternal and infant health problems, poverty, lack of education, inadequate family support, and increased risk for domestic violence and child abuse and neglect. Benefits of social support services for young parents include improved knowledge about parenting, enhanced parent-child relationships, increased economic self-sufficiency, and reduction in family violence.
Effective programs are systematically planned, offer a comprehensive selection of services, address child development and health-care needs, are customized to the parents developmental level, involve extended family members, and promote intergenerational relationships.
Specialized Services for Kinship Caregivers Family support services for kinship caregivers must take into account that kin are likely to be single, older, in poorer health, and financially less secure than nonrelative caregivers, while children in their care are generally younger and often need special services.
These families generally receive few economic supports and are less likely to be aware of services available to them once a child is placed in their care. In addition, they may not have support from extended family, peers, or the community in general
Commonly needed supports include financial assistance, childcare, respite, medical care, and training in parenting skills. Family mediation or counseling is also often needed to assist caregivers and birth parents in resolving conflicts, easing the difficulties of parenting a relatives child, and achieving a permanent plan for the child.
Effectiveness of Support Services for Kinship Families While the practice of kin parenting children when their parents cannot is a time-honored tradition in most cultures, the formal use of kinship care in child welfare has been much more recent. Increasingly, agencies are recognizing the importance of providing support and information to kinship caregivers to better ensure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children in care.
State and Local Examples: Family Support Services Family-focused, community-based interventions prevent child abuse and neglect, offer assistance to families, provide early support for parents, promote the development of parenting skills, increase family stability, and improve family access to community resources.
Effectiveness of Family Support Services Family support services are intended to strengthen families, improve parenting skills, promote child development, and enhance parental confidence. Methods include home visitation, child development assessment, parenting skills education, homemaker services, and social and emotional support services.
Research on the effectiveness of family support services has examined the comparative effectiveness of different program models and the extent to which programs improve outcomes, including preventing maltreatment, decreasing the use of foster care, enhancing placement stability, and reunifying families.