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April 2015Vol. 16, No. 3Family Asset Builder, Chronic Neglect Intervention

In 2009, Casey Family Programs and the American Humane Association (AHA) partnered to develop a new intervention model targeting cases of chronic child neglect. The Family Asset Builder (FAB) intervention model was established using AHA's six-point framework for effectively working with families involved with child protective services (CPS) as a result of chronic neglect. It is based on the assumption that a strength-based, solution-focused approach to service delivery is necessary to address neglect early in a family's CPS involvement. An article in the Journal of Family Strengths describes the development and core components of the FAB intervention approach.

The FAB model offers intensive case-management services to families with a history of chronic neglect that focus on the family's needs, strengths, and the underlying parental and family behaviors that contributed to the neglect and the family's involvement with child welfare. The model was created in response to a lack of specialized interventions designed specifically to address neglect and a lack of evaluative studies to assess the effectiveness of such interventions. According to recent national estimates, the majority of all child maltreatment victims—over half a million children—suffered from neglect. While rates of physical and sexual abuse among victims of maltreatment have fluctuated little over time, neglect rates have increased from 63 percent in 2000 to 78 percent in 2013 among child maltreatment victims. Additionally, neglect is more likely than other forms of maltreatment to reoccur in families with a history of child welfare involvement. This pattern of chronic neglect, especially in early childhood, can have long-lasting, harmful effects on children's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

The article describes the intervention approach and reviews the 2011 piloting of the FAB approach in two Minnesota counties, an evaluation study of the model, lessons learned from implementation, and preliminary findings from the intervention. Authors also present recommendations and discuss FAB's role in expanding the field's knowledge around chronic neglect and informing future child welfare research, policy, and practice.

"Development and Evaluation of the Family Asset Builder: A New Child Protective Services Intervention to Address Chronic Neglect," by T. W. Corwin, E. J. Maher, M. Idzelis Rothe, M. Skrypek, C. Kaplan, D. Koziolek, and B. Mahoney, Journal of Family Strengths, (14)1, 2014, is available at (262 KB).