NFPN in Nashville

A few weeks ago, Sheila Searfoss (NFPN board member) and I went to Nashville, TN.  We didn’t go for country music or hot chicken, instead we were there to conduct a Trainer Certification on the NCFAS-G+R tool.  We were hosted by Centerstone, which is one of the nation’s largest behavioral healthcare organizations.  Centerstone provides a full range of mental health services, substance abuse treatment, intellectual and developmental disability services, housing, educational services and community supports for people of all ages.  It has programs in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.  Centerstone also has an institute that leads the mental health industry through research and technology, and military services to care for active members, veterans and their families.  Centerstone serves more than 63,000 people each year throughout their locations in the middle Tennessee area.

The NCFAS-G+R Trainer Certification participants came from a variety of agencies and states. Some were from Centerstone’s Therapeutic Intervention, Education & Skills program, while others joined us from agencies in Georgia, North Carolina and Indiana.

The NCFAS-G+R Trainer Certification is a combination of instruction and group exercises.  It consists of one-day of training on family assessments, benefits and history of the NCFAS-G+R, components of the tool and rating system, assigning ratings based on a case study, and using the ratings to develop a service plan.  On day two, participants present mini-trainings to assess their presentation skills and they take a written test to verify their knowledge.  Upon completion of the Trainer Certification, participants receive certificates which allow them to provide trainings on the NCFAS-G+R for the following three years.

Our visit to Nashville wasn’t the first time NFPN conducted a training in which participants from several locations attended, and it won’t be the last.  We don’t have another multi-agency Trainer Certification planned at this time, but we’d like to set up another one later this year.  So, we’re putting out the call for agencies that would be interested in hosting and/or participating in a future NCFAS-G+R Trainer Certification.

In order to have a training, we need a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14 participants.  The cost per participant will be $375 and the hosting agency will get a discounted rate of $325 per person.  These costs cover the training and materials only.  Travel, lodging and meals will be paid by agencies/participants.  In addition, all participants must be licensed to use the NCFAS tools.

If you’re interested in hosting/attending a NCFAS-G+R Trainer Certification, please contact me at 888-498-9047 or director@nfpn.org.

We look forward to seeing you in the classroom!

Posted by Michelle Reines, NFPN Executive Director

Outcomes 2020

The National Family Preservation Network is very fortunate to collaborate with many family-serving agencies worldwide.  This month we want to highlight the work of the Indiana Association of Resources and Child Advocacy (www.iarca.org).  IARCA represents approximately 100 member agencies in Indiana providing a broad array of services, including home-based services, foster care, residential care, transitional/independent living, shelter care and crisis stabilization.

IARCA has partnered with NFPN in several capacities over the years, and IARCA recently launched an exciting new initiative called “Outcomes 2020”.  The cornerstone of this initiative is a renovated online comprehensive assessment system.  It will be implemented across twelve programs that provide a continuum of services.  It encompasses over 50 agencies which served 5,800 youth/families in 2018.

This initiative builds on two decades of great work by the IARCA Outcome Measures Project.  It is the first major overhaul of its assessment process since the project was launched.  Recognizing that modern data expectations are different than they were back then, “Outcomes 2020” introduces an evidence-based, comprehensive assessment system that will allow for more nuanced measurement and more sophisticated analysis.

In making this change, IARCA’s Outcomes Task Force was guided by two principles: (1) to develop a comprehensive assessment system that is no more administratively burdensome than the former process and, (2) to the degree possible, develop these changes in coordination with the Indiana Department of Child Services.

The IARCA Outcome Measures Project began making the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale – General + Reunification (NCFAS-G+R) available to home-based project participants on a voluntary basis in 2017.  Based on research from the project’s external evaluators, the NCFAS-G+R was determined to be the best evidence-based tool that meets the project’s needs.  Therefore, the decision was made to move it the forefront of the project and require usage as part of the “Outcomes 2020” initiative.

To make room for the NCFAS-G+R in the comprehensive assessment system, two external evaluators and the Outcomes Task Force recommended the deletion of several previous tools.  The IARCA board approved the recommendations.  While these tools were of great benefit for many years, they did not meet current assessment standards or modern data expectations.  As a result of adding the NCFAS-G+R and removing some other tools, the administrative burden of using the “Outcomes 2020” comprehensive assessment system is expected to be equal to, or slightly less than, the former assessment process.

IARCA is supporting “Outcomes 2020” with in-person training, webinars, and technical assistance for participating providers.  The initiative officially began on January 6th.  IARCA will collect data on the initiative and share this data with NFPN on an ongoing basis.  NFPN plans to present the findings to the public in 2021.  We are optimistic that “Outcomes 2020” will provide valuable research and guidance for assessing many other programs and agencies around the world.

 

Posted by Michelle Reines, NFPN Executive Director

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