IFPS in the Spotlight

The month of July is the high point of the year for the 40th anniversary celebration of Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS).

On July 17, 2014, 60 leaders and advocates of IFPS met in Seattle to talk about the past, present, and future of IFPS. This model—to provide brief, intensive services to keep families safely together—has withstood the test of time, and the principles of IFPS can be found in all effective, home-based services.

IFPS Website

One outgrowth of this year of celebration is a website dedicated to IFPS. Jointly sponsored by NFPN and the Institute for Family Development, the website debuts today at: http://www.intensivefamilypreservation.org/

The IFPS website serves as a repository of the history of IFPS up to and including comments on the 40th anniversary from the pioneers of the most significant initiative in the child welfare system. The IFPS website also includes some of the earliest documents, which have now been reproduced electronically and are just as relevant today as they were 40 years ago.

The website is also the new home of the IFPS Coast to Coast Blog to keep you current with what is happening in the field.

Check out the website today!

(NFPN would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation for the Seattle event and the development of the website.)

Share Your IFPS Experiences

It’s time for you to join in the celebration!

Share what is happening in your state with IFPS, both past and present. Leave a comment below or e-mail director@nfpn.org.

The IFPS website would especially welcome any photos, documents, or other memorabilia from the early days of IFPS.


You can help build awareness of IFPS by providing media releases to your local press and encouraging them to write about IFPS in your state, county, or city.

Several media releases on the 40th anniversary of IFPS are available. The federal Children’s Bureau coverage can be found here:

Peg Marckworth, the IFPS Website and Blog Manager, wrote a media alert with an excellent overview of IFPS that is available here:
http://bit.ly/ifpspressrelease (PDF file, 50 Kb)

Celebrating IFPS

The genius of IFPS is simple yet profound:

  • Respond immediately when a family is facing removal of a child.
  • Believe in the family when it’s hard for them to believe in themselves.
  • Be available 24/7.
  • Work within the family’s environment.
  • Listen to understand the family’s perspective.
  • Spend a lot of time with the family.
  • Teach by modeling.
  • Enlist the family’s strengths to address their weaknesses.
  • Help the family build resources and resilience for the future.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the founders of IFPS who developed, tested, refined, and replicated this model nationwide.

One of the earliest founders who continues to be actively involved with IFPS today is Charlotte Booth, Executive Director of the Institute for Family Development. Charlotte received the Lifetime Achievement Award for IFPS at the gala event in Seattle. Please join in congratulating Charlotte for dedicating her entire working career to IFPS!

Another pioneer, Eddie Rickenbacker, said, “Aviation is proof that—given the will—we can do the impossible.” The same can be said of IFPS.

Happy 40th anniversary, IFPS, and many more to come!

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