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December/January 2018Vol. 18, No. 9National Family Preservation Network Celebrates 25 Years

This year, the National Family Preservation Network (NFPN), which was established in 1992, is celebrating its 25th anniversary. NFPN's mission is to preserve vulnerable families and prevent unnecessary out-of-home placements of children through four initiatives in the areas of family preservation, reunification, father involvement, and assessment.

NFPN has worked tirelessly throughout the last 25 years to uphold its mission of keeping families together through research and training efforts that have made them national leaders in developing and testing family assessment tools; developing training materials for frontline workers on father involvement; and linking cutting-edge research, tools, and resources to direct services. NFPN has conducted six research projects that have demonstrated the effectiveness of intensive family preservation and reunification services, leading to an 80 percent success rate nationwide. In addition, NFPN provides a comprehensive, research-based father involvement curriculum for frontline workers that aims to keep fathers involved in case planning, visitation, and placement decisions.

NFPN has collaborated with over 50 organizations to bring research findings, resources, trainings, and technical assistance to family-serving agencies. NFPN collaborated with Dr. Ray Kirk from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to further develop assessment tools that measure family functioning, such as the North Carolina Family Assessment Scale, which has been included in NFPN's research projects on family preservation and reunification. Today, NFPN's assessment tools, which are available online at, are used in the child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, behavioral health, education, and other systems, including over 1,000 agencies nationwide as well as in 20 countries.

NFPN is also the national voice for Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS), which is a model of services used in the child welfare system in most states to help keep families together. NFPN has recently developed a continuous quality improvement (CQI) instrument to assess, sustain, and enhance the quality of IFPS on state and local levels. This tool helps providers assess current levels of effectiveness and also areas needing improvement. The CQI-IFPS Instrument ( provides resources, including information on the benefits of family preservation interventions and quality assurance, a tally sheet for conducting specific case studies, and instructions for how to utilize the tool effectively.

In 25 years, NFPN has matured from being grant dependent to self-sufficient through the sales of tools, trainings, and technical assistance. Although NFPN's main focus continues to be on the child welfare system, it has greatly expanded its services to include the juvenile justice, mental and behavioral health, home visiting, and education systems.

In looking toward the next 25 years, NFPN plans to continue assisting states with reinvigorating and expanding family preservation and reunification programs and services; provide resources, training, and technical assistance to prevention programs; and bring more resources and trainings to rural areas.

Related Items

More information about NFPN and IFPS can be found in the following previous issues of CBX:

Resources for Family Reunification Services, May 2009, Vol. 10, No. 4

Intensive Family Preservation Services Toolkit, September 2009, Vol. 10, No. 7

Father Involvement Course for Continuing Education Credits, February 2010, Vol. 11, No. 1

Meeting CFSR Standards of Father Involvement, October 2010, Vol. 11, No. 8

New IFPS Survey Available, February 2012, Vol. 13, No. 1

Father Involvement Curricula, April 2012, Vol. 13, No. 3

Optimizing Father-Child Visits, May 2012, Vol. 13, No. 4

Engaging Reluctant Families Training, August 2012, Vol. 13, No. 7

Intensive Family Preservation Services Turns 40, May 2014, Vol. 15, No. 5

New Research on Family Reunification, June 2014, Vol. 15, No. 6

Tool for Quality Intensive Family Preservation Services, March 2015, Vol. 16, No. 2

Trauma and Well-Being Assessment Tool, June 2015, Vol. 16, No. 5

Nationwide Survey Celebrates 40 Years of IFPS, April 2016, Vol. 16, No. 3

Reviewing 15 Years of Father Involvement Initiatives, July/August 2017, Vol. 18, No. 5