This final edition of the News Notes for 2005 summarizes the major projects the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) has undertaken throughout the year, and the major findings from the research portion of two of these projects.
Use of Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) to prevent adoption disruptions
NFPN, in cooperation with Dr. Marianne Berry from the University of Kansas, identified 10 states that indicate they provide IFPS to post-adoptive families. Two states, Missouri and Indiana, provided additional data on their programs.
Research Findings: Family preservation services with post-adoptive families are effective, with preservation rates greater than 80% as demonstrated with two models of family preservation, IFPS and a less intensive program. Child and parent characteristics that predict which post-adoptive families will remain intact and which will have an out-of home placement of a child include: race and age of the child, whether or not the primary parent is employed full-time, the child’s past history of abuse or neglect, and parental problems.
Determining the reliability and validity of the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS) with programs other than IFPS
NFPN, in cooperation with Dr. Ray Kirk from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill, is testing an expanded version of the NCFAS with a differential response program in the San Mateo County Human Services Agency in California. Data collection will be completed in April of 2006 and will then be analyzed to determine reliability and validity.
Completion of a 3-year project to motivate and train child welfare social workers to engage and involve fathers in their children’s lives
In the third and final year of the fatherhood project, funded by the Stuart Foundation, an advanced training package was developed. The package features a 33-page manual with specific skills for engaging fathers, and a 33-minute video on best practice by social workers. In addition, NFPN conducted 15 presentations and trainings nationwide on father involvement. Data collection on social workers’ engagement of fathers was completed.
Research Findings: Social workers increasingly viewed fathers as a resource over the course of time. When fathers were identified as a resource and could be located, social workers consistently met benchmarks to involve the father and his extended family in the case plan.
Providing on-site training and training packages for assessment tools and father involvement
The NCFAS (for intact families) and the NCFAS-R (for reunification) assessment tools and training packages are being used by 135 agencies nationwide and in Australia and Canada. The fatherhood training packages are being used in a half dozen state child welfare agencies, and two dozens states requested sample kits.
Donations earmarked for identifying IFPS components
All donations to NFPN during 2005 will fund the first stage of a project next year to identify the successful components of IFPS.
Thank you for your input, comments, and support throughout 2005.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!