Research-Supported Resources

At the beginning of each year, the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) provides a list of resources available through our website.  Social services are increasingly required to be research-supported, especially with passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act that has a 50% federal match for programs that are evidence based. Since its beginning in 1992, NFPN has promoted research-supported tools, programs, and practice.  We have also conducted 9 research projects on our resources.  So, let’s take a look at some of these resources and the underlying research.  We’ll begin with preservation because that’s in our name!

In the largest study of Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS), Dr. Ray Kirk compared 1200 children who had received IFPS with 110,000 children who had not received these services.  IFPS outperformed traditional services in every case with greater improvement in family functioning, reducing the number of placements, and delaying placements.  You can read the research report here  Many agencies inquire about how to start or strengthen an IFPS program.  For a comprehensive overview of IFPS visit

One of the most important developments in the field of social work over the past two decades is the focus on family assessment.   Analysis of the initial Child and Family Services Reviews identified a link between comprehensive family assessments and good outcomes for families.  Guidelines for high-quality assessments are available here

NFPN partnered with Dr. Ray Kirk to develop one of the first assessment tools for reunifying families, the NCFAS-R.  Diverting families from the child welfare system resulted in the development of the NCFAS-G.  Generally, all grants and contracts now mandate trauma-informed practice.  In response, NFPN and Dr. Kirk developed the Trauma/Post-Trauma Well-Being assessment tool.  All of these assessment tools have successful reliability/validity studies.  For an overview of the research on the tools visit For information on and a description of each of the assessment tools (including Spanish versions) visit

In partnership with two child welfare agencies in Washington and California, NFPN conducted one of the first demonstration studies of father involvement.  With training, incentives, and support from administrators, social workers demonstrated improvement in identifying fathers as a resource and including them in the case plan and involving the father’s extended family in the case plan.  To view the project’s research reports visit  More information on father-involvement curricula and resources is available here:

NFPN offers training and technical assistance on all of its resources. Training packages and videos are available as well as onsite training and technical assistance by phone and email.  For agencies using the NCFAS-G+R assessment tool, video training is now available: The Substance Abuse and In-Home Video Training is especially relevant in the midst of a time of high misuse of drugs including opioids:

For more information on all resources and training/technical assistance, contact Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director,, 888-498-9047.


Posted by Priscilla Martens, Executive Director

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