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Dec/Jan 2011Vol. 11, No. 10Intensive In-Home Family Treatment

The goal of family preservation programs is to improve family functioning so that children can remain safely at home. A recent journal article describes an intensive in-home family treatment program (IFT) in Missouri that contributed to the prevention of out-of-home placements. Some key aspects of the 4- to 6-week intervention program included:

  • Voluntary participation
  • Counseling delivered in the home
  • Availability of services 24/7
  • Treatment directed at resolving the specific crisis issue of abuse/neglect

The Missouri Family Functioning Assessment was administered before and after the intervention to measure family functioning in the following areas:

  • Family environment
  • Family social support
  • Family interactions
  • Parent/caregiver's well-being
  • Child's well-being

The IFT process provided specific criteria for successful completion of each week of treatment. Goals focused on engaging the family in identifying problematic behaviors, teaching effective parenting skills, assessing family needs, and facilitating access to community-level resources. Based on evaluation results for 123 families and their 217 children, IFT services positively impacted family functioning in all five domains of family intervention and would likely prevent the removal of a child from the home.

"Evaluation of an Intensive In-Home Family Treatment Program to Prevent Out-of-Home Placement," by Sabrina Tyuse, Philip Hong, and John Stretch, appears in the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, Vol. 7, and is available for purchase through the website: