What is Families First?
Families First works with children (infant-18) and families in their homes. Services may be provided for a few hours per week or up to 12 hours per week, depending on the family’s needs. Intensive in-home professionals and family care coordinators focus on recognizing family strengths which can be used to build the solutions that will work for each family. Each family is recognized as unique, and staff work with families to design a comprehensive individualized service plan. In the client assessment, we discover what the family likes to do, how the family copes, and what the family hopes for. We help the family develop any necessary safety and crisis plans, transition plans and discharge plans from the Families First program. Together, the family and staff bring a “team” together to help families achieve their goals. We work closely with schools and other agencies to ensure that the right mix of services and supports are included in the service plan. This approach helps keep children at home in our community. It also helps to promote successful transitions back into their families for children who have received out-of-home placements.
What are the goals of Families First?
The goals of Families First are to:
- Keep the family safe.
- Reduce placement of children in substitute care.
- Improve parent-child attachments and family functioning so that problem behaviors are less like to recur and healthy development is maximized.
What services are offered by Families First?
We use flexibility and creativity to develop the right balance of individual, family, and group counseling. For adults, we offer parent education and support, home-management guidance, and life-skills development. Services for children and youth concentrate on behavioral and cognitive strategies for change, socialization, and increasing involvement in the community’s natural supports. We also provide advocacy, crisis intervention, and strong case management by coordinating with other community agencies and resources, in both traditional and non-traditional ways. On-call staff are available around the clock to respond to client emergencies.
Who would typically receive Families First Services?
Families First serves families in which one or more children are at risk of an out-of-home placement. We also assist families before and after reunification to help maximize the effectiveness of residential services. We help children who are experiencing serious behavior-control problems in their homes, at school, or in the community. We address problems related to moods and emotions, self-harmful behavior, substance use and negative thinking.
How are Families First services funded? Most referrals are funded through Medicaid, the FAPT process (Comprehensive Services Act) or by a local Department of Social Services.
For more information, contact:
Karen Pillis, Families First Program Manager: (540)563-5316 ext. 3007