Hello and thank you for joining us. We are excited to have you with us for this discussion on family intervention. My name is Andre Wade and I am a program and policy analyst with the National Alliance to End Homelessness. I am joined by Tania Pryce of Youth Services of Tulsa and Dr. Norweeta Milburn of UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human BehaviorWe’ll be taking questions at the end, so please use your control panel, on the screen, to submit your questions. Also, we’ll be posting this webinar and the presentation on the Alliance’s website in a few days.
In case you weren’t aware June is family reunification month, which is sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law.
For today’s webinar Iwill provide an overview of family intervention, which will include family reunification, family connecting and family finding, and aftercare services.Tania will discuss family intervention work being done within a continuum of service options, the challenges and opportunities to family intervention, as well as how to reduce barriers to providing services to families and individuals in need.Norweeta will discuss a short family intervention model called, Support to Reunite, Involve, and Value Each Other (STRIVE); the components that are included in STRIVE sessions, and how family intervention can be delivered for families of homeless youth.
The strategy to intervene with youth as part of a family unit is a promising strategy to prevent and end youth homelessness. As we’ve learned – many youth leave the home because of family discord and or a family crisis. And many of these youth that leave home return home within a week with little or no assistance. To facilitate youth returning home, and to strengthen the family to mitigate any future ejections of the youth from the home, family intervention work needs to be implemented. Family intervention creates a space for families to work on core issues that led to a youth leaving the home while the family is in a supportive environment. Through counseling, meetings, and other formats – families are provided an opportunity to improve their communication skills, decrease the impact of trauma a youth has experienced, identify a circle of social and community supports, and identify other resources that may be needed. These resources may include financial assistance, housing assistance, utility payments, food, mental health or substance abuse counseling – to name a few.
Family intervention is a strategic intervention to link unaccompanied runaway and homeless youth, regardless of age, to their family. Family intervention is an umbrella term that can include discrete strategies such as family reunification, family connecting and family finding. The goal of family intervention can be to return a youth to his or her family, or to connect him or her to a caring adult, or to provide a family with additional resources after a youth has exited a program to keep the family in tact. Research shows that youth who are connected with family have the potential for improved outcomes, and self-sufficiency by decreasing the impact of trauma a youth has experienced.And aftercare services can be a form of family intervention that is provided to a youth and their family, after a youth has exited a program. The purpose is to provide a youth and their family with additional supports and resources such as referrals to community providers, and financial assistance to facilitate a youth’s self-sufficiency and/or to maintain the youth in the home.
Family reunification refers to the process of returning children in temporary out-of-home care to their families of origin . The process is delicate and on-going, and often requires follow up or aftercare services. The needs and strengths of the youth and parents must be assessed individually and as a whole to get to the core of the discord and the goal of reunification.Counseling of the youth, the parents and the family as a whole is at the center of family reunification services. During the counseling sessions the family discusses the issues that led to the youth leaving the home. A formal or informal plan is developed, with the input of the youth and family, to determine when and how the youth will return home, and what supports the family can access in case of a future crisis. Overall, the process of family reunification helps the family in re-building their relationship.Family reunification should only be conducted with buy-in from the youth – and should be youth directed as much as possible. One must remember that several unsuccessful reunifications may occur before a successful one does; therefore, on-going assessments of the youth and family’s safety and well-being, need for additional counseling and resources is always needed.
Family connections are important even if a youth’s parents cannot physically or financially care for them. When this is the case providers ought to ensure that a youth has some sort of relationship with their parents and/or extended relatives. When youth have positive relationships with their family, the youth’s outcomes can improve. These outcomes include a decrease in pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and a decrease in risky behavior such as substance abuse. Family connections includes a youth and their parents being close in their relationship, a youth feeling loved and wanted, and a youth acknowledging the importance of relationships with family. Family connecting can be facilitated by engaging the youth and parents in activities, on-going and regular phone calls and e-mail exchanges, connection via social media, and the inclusion of family members in milestones such as birthdays, graduations and other celebrations.
When immediate family and supports are seemingly exhausted, Family Finding is a model that is used in child welfare to identify and engage extended family, and fictive kin adults that are important in the life of a youth. The model, which centers around the youth, includes six stages:1. Discovering the family member.2. Engaging the family member in the process.3. Planning for moving forward with reunification and or the family connecting process.4. Decision-Making as to when and how the youth will reunify and connect with the family member moving forward.5. Evaluating – the ongoing well-being and safety of the youth.6. Follow-Up Supports – to keep the family together and connected.Family Finding should be implemented over time, when the youth is ready. Introducing family and non-family members into the life of a youth after a long period of absence can be a delicate process that requires thoughtful case planning. Once a family member has been located, then the process of building relationships needs to occur.
Aftercare services, which can be found in a number of service contexts, such as juvenile justice, child welfare, and homelessness can be formal or informal, depending upon the objective of the intervention. The common thread between the different types of provisions of services of aftercare is the community-based and sometimes in-home focus of the services that have the goal of providing someone with the necessary skills and supports to not re-enter the system from which they exited. These services are viewed as continuous; therefore, planning should begin as early as possible. Aftercareservices can include counseling, referrals to community programs, financial assistance and helping a youth and family to access resources independently.
There are many benefits for implementing family intervention for runaway and homeless youth such as:Ending a homelessness episode;Having a housing destination for a youth;Improving relationships and strengthening a family;Increasing the potential of a youth having positive outcomes; andMitigating future runaway or throwaway episodes.Many of you have witnessed and experienced these benefits for yourselves and therefore can attest to the power of the process when things fall into place.
A number of evidenced-based family intervention models exit and are implemented in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Given that runaway and homeless youth have similar backgrounds and characteristics as runaway and homeless youth (who are often times referred to non-systems youth when they have not had or currently have any involvement with juvenile justice or child welfare) many of these models are promising in being effective for working with runaway and homeless youth and their families. I encourage you all to explore these family intervention models.Project STRIVE will be specifically presented later during this webinar. I now pass things over to Tania Pryce from Youth Services of Tulsa who will discuss family intervention services being done through a continuum of service options.
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Family Intervention:Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth André C. Wade, National Alliance to End Homelessness Tania Pryce, Youth Services of Tulsa Dr. Norweeta G. Milburn, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Family InterventionBuilding Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth June is Family Reunification Month National Reunification Month is sponsored by the American Bar Associations (ABAs) Center on Children and the Law.
The Discussion• André will provide an overview of family intervention, which will include family reunification, family connecting and family finding.• Tania will discuss family intervention work being done within a continuum of service options, the challenges and opportunities to family intervention, as well as how to reduce barriers to providing services to families and individuals in need.• Norweeta will discuss a short family intervention model, Support to Reunite, Involve, and Value Each Other (STRIVE); the components that are included in STIVE sessions, and how family intervention can be delivered for families of homeless youth.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless YouthFamily intervention can facilitate the process ofyouth returning home, strengthen families, andaddress trauma to mitigate future ejects fromthe home.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless YouthFamily intervention is an umbrella term that caninclude discrete strategies such as familyreunification, family connecting and familyfinding. Aftercare services can be a form offamily intervention that is provided to a youthand their family, after a youth has exited aprogram.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth• Family reunification in refers to the process of returning children and youth in temporary out-of-home care to their families of origin .The process of family reunification planningshould always involve the child/youth indecision making, and include on goingassessments of safety.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth• Family connecting includes connecting a youth with their family to facilitate an emotional reunification if a physical reunification is not possible.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless YouthFamily Finding is a model that is used in child welfare to identify andengage extended family, fictive kin adults that are important in the lifeof a youth. The model, which centers around the youth, includes sixstages3: 1. Discovering 2. Engaging 3. Planning 4. Decision-Making 5. Evaluating 6. Follow-Up Supports-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------3. Campbell, K. Six steps for family finding: Center for Family: Centerfor Family Finding and Youth Connectedness. Resource Documents.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth• Aftercare services, which can be found in a number of service contexts, such as juvenile justice, child welfare, and homelessness can be formal or informal, depending upon the objective of the intervention.
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth Benefits of Family Intervention• Reunify youth with their family in the home to end an episode of homelessness• Create a housing destination• Improve the relationship between a youth and his/her family• Emotionally connect youth with their family to increase a youth’s outcomes• Prevent or decrease the risk of a youth running away or being thrown out of the home in the future• Keep families in tact• Addressing trauma
Family Intervention Building Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth Evidenced-Based Models• Strengthening Families Program• Brief Strategic Family Therapy• Family Behavior Therapy• Project STRIVE (discussed later during the webinar)• Family Acceptance Project• Multisystemic Therapy• Functional Family Therapy• Family Group Decision Making/Family Group Conferencing• Intensive Family Preservation Services
Family InterventionBuilding Relationships and Increasing Stability for Runaway and Homeless Youth André C. Wade, Program and Policy Analyst National Alliance to End Homelessness email@example.com
How Youth Services Reduces Barriers Multiple Full Multiple No Pre- doorways continuum Locations authorization• Safe Place • Crisis services • 5 Satellite Process• Shelter • Counseling offices • Same week• Counseling • Youth appointments• TLP development • Sliding scale• SOS • Strong payments• GLBTQ community • Solution connections focused
Youth and Young Adults Crave connections Separation Seek outfrom services family Feelings of “Unsuccess- guilt and ful” shame reunification
Youth and Young Adults Changing the Cycle• Youth crave • Seek out connections family Open With staff discussions support with staff Continues Services to developing lessen connections impact• Continued • “Unsuccess-f services ul” Reunification
• TLP entry • Mom became a team member.“Lucy” • Reunification • Entry through Street Outreach • Counseling services“Dylan” • Reunification • Entry through shelter • Mechanism to stay engaged“Adam” • Reunification
Tania Pryce, LPC, LADC Director of OutreachYouth Services of Tulsa 918.344.6618 firstname.lastname@example.org
Family-BasedIntervention forHomelessAdolescentsNorweeta G. Milburn, Ph.D.Nathanson Family ResilienceCenter
OverviewResearch Family Intervention Project STRIVE
Negative PictureHow do we intervene to prevent chronic homelessness?
Project STRIVE: Support toReunite, Involve, and Value EachOther Runaway behavior: Response to unresolved family conflict Family intervention – Family strengths – Problem solving – Conflict negotiation – Role clarification 5 sessions
Project STRIVE:Elements Tokens Feeling Thermometer Problem Solving Role Playing Reframing
Project STRIVE: Session 1 Tasks Introduction and begin using tokens Understanding program, Commitment to participation Introduce family album Feeling good about each other Identify family strengths Developing tools to reduce risk of running away: Stating positives about self Identifying and uncomfortable situation and introducing coping plan Preparing for future high risk situations Identifying social supports Have family members sign contract for returning home Giving to each other Establish the phone contract and assign post session activity of having conversations and giving “verbal” tokens to each other
ResultsMental HealthSubstance abuse and HIV sexual riskMilburn, Iribarren, Rice et al. (2011)
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human BehaviorNathanson Family Resilience Center Norweeta G. Milburn, Ph.D. email@example.com
Thank youWe will now take time to take your ?uestions