Q and A

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) receives inquiries on a regular basis. Here are some of the most frequent questions….and answers:

How can my agency establish effective family preservation services?

NFPN has conducted six research studies on Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS) with all demonstrating its effectiveness. The studies included both placement prevention and reunification services.   NFPN has also conducted three nationwide surveys of IFPS in the past 10 years. The studies and surveys tell us that key characteristics of effective IFPS programs include 24/7 availability of staff, low caseloads (2-4), brief duration (4-6 weeks), intensive services (40 hours or more of face-to-face contact), high rate of keeping families together (90% or higher at case closure), and an annual program evaluation.

A good starting place for developing an effective family preservation program is the IFPS ToolKit: http://www.nfpn.org/preservation/ifps-toolkit

For examples of state RFPs, standards, and annual evaluation reports, visit: http://www.nfpn.org/preservation/state-resources

A fidelity/quality improvement tool, CQI-IFPS Instrument, is available here: http://www.nfpn.org/preservation/cqi-ifps-instrument 

How can I find a reliable and valid assessment tool to meet the requirements of my agency’s government-contracted services?

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare has rated 20 measurement tools. You can view the list of tools and ratings here: http://www.cebc4cw.org/assessment-tools/measurement-tools-highlighted-on-the-cebc/.

The Clearinghouse has given the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale (NCFAS) an “A” rating. The NCFAS scales measure family functioning. NFPN has conducted 6 research projects involving the assessment tools, all of them confirming the reliability and validity of the tools. A summary of research studies on the tools is available here: http://www.nfpn.org/assessment-tools/ncfases-scale-development-report

NFPN most recently released the Trauma/Post-Trauma Well-Being Tool (TWB). Designed for use with either the NCFAS-G or NCFAS-G+R assessment tools, the TWB tool assists workers to identify symptoms and indicators of trauma and the extent of healing following services. Detailed information is available here: http://www.nfpn.org/assessment-tools/trauma-assessment-tool

Is a web-based data entry system available for the assessment tools?

YES!   NFPN has worked with a developer, Integrated Imaging, to design a web database specifically for the NCFAS tools (NCFAS-G, NCFAS-G+R, and TWB). The web database includes demographics, reasons for referral, case plan forms, print/save features, research-caliber reports, and technical assistance.

Take a test drive by participating in a free web database demo scheduled for:

Wednesday, April 12, at 11:30 ET OR

Thursday, April 20, at 4:00 ET

Register by emailing Priscilla Martens, director@nfpn.org

For more details on the web database visit: http://www.nfpn.org/assessment-tools/ncfasgrt-database

Are there any videos or printed materials to train agency staff on father involvement?

NFPN has two videos on father involvement. Each video is part of a training curriculum on father involvement that also includes a manual, training script, handouts, and other resources.

Information on the Basic Fatherhood Training Curriculum Package is available here: http://www.nfpn.org/father-involvement/basic-training-package while information on the Advanced Fatherhood Training Curriculum Package is available here: http://www.nfpn.org/father-involvement/advanced-training-pack

Pricing begins at $150 per training package for up to 25 workers or $275 for both. To order contact Priscilla Martens, director@nfpn.org Note: the fatherhood training is not designed for use with fatherhood groups.


Posted by Priscilla Martens, NFPN Executive Director

Web Database for NCFAS Tools

The National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) has always provided an electronic database system for the NCFAS assessment tools. The current electronic database was built on a Microsoft Access platform, runs on Windows only, and replicates the hard copy of the rating forms. It’s designed for installation on individual computers with aggregate data exported to Excel. It is included with purchase of a NCFAS tool/training package and is accessed through digital download. While customers may continue to use the Access database for as long as they wish, technical assistance is no longer available.

NFPN is now offering a web database that is faster, more user-friendly, and has many more features than the current database. The web database developer, Integrated Imaging, worked with NFPN to design the database specifically for use with the NCFAS assessment tools (NCFAS-G, NCFAS-G+R, Trauma/Post Trauma Well-Being). The database includes the following features to meet the needs of workers:

  • Accessible through the internet
  • Unique identifier in order to easily track families
  • Demographics on caregivers and children (age, gender, race, ethnicity, living situation at case opening/closure, reasons for referral, etc.)
  • Quick access to definitions to assist in completing ratings
  • Indicators/graphs to inform workers of status of completion of ratings on assigned families
  • Case plan form that guides the worker in developing goals and services
  • Immediate access to reports on progress of any family or all families
  • Ability to print/save data and reports or export to Excel

The following features meet the needs of supervisors and administrators

  • Unique family code to ensure confidentiality
  • Ability to track each worker’s progress with families
  • Requirement for 100% entry of opening/closing ratings (no missing ratings)
  • Reporting features on completed cases that show the number and the percent of families at each domain, percent of families that are at baseline/above, percent of families with problem ratings (mild, moderate, serious)
  • Immediate access to reports and status of completion of ratings on families
  • Conversion of reports to graphs for visuals
  • Customizable to meet additional needs of an agency

The web database is available with past purchase or current purchase of the NCFAS-G, NCFAS-G+R, and Trauma tools. If your agency currently uses either the NCFAS or NCFAS-R tools, you can upgrade at a discounted price. The annual fee, paid to the vendor, will include technical assistance and other support for use. The activation fee will be waived this year so sign up early for the most savings!

Free demonstrations of the new database are scheduled for (choose one):

Thurs, Feb 23, 11:00 a.m. ET                                                                               

Wed, March 1, 4:00 p.m. ET

To register for the demonstration, and to obtain additional information and fees contact Priscilla Martens, Executive Director, director@nfpn.org, 888-498-9047.

Posted by Priscilla Martens

Executive Director


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