What Are Family Preservation Services?

Family Preservation is a DCFS contract that supports the family in reaching both court ordered, DCFS and the families goals for success and the closure of their DCFS case. The family meets with a PL In Home Outreach Counselor weekly in their home to establish and then work on their goals. All services provided to the family are free to the family.

What is family preservation? 

One of the main goals of FP is to prevent the children from needing to be detained by DCFS by increasing the safety and stability of the home and the family.  

Who is best suited for family preservation services? 

A young family holding hands

How does family preservation work? 

The primary goal of FP is to guide and support the families and provide the resources and teach the skills they need to have the children remain safely in their care (no foster care detainment).  This may include topics such as:  keeping your children safe at home and in the community, parenting classes, co-parenting skills, Domestic Violence (DV) prevention and/or treatment, community referrals to assist the family, family counseling, concrete support for safety items such as rent, food, beds for children, etc.  

Family therapy & bonding

FP provides family counseling (IHOC’S are not therapists).  If the family needs a formalized Family therapy program, they are referred to other DCFS approved programs.  FP does provide for community referrals for individual or couples therapy for adults and children in the FP program.  Bonding activities are provided in the home with the IHOC and the family.  

Parenting skills 

FP provides parenting skills both in a group parenting class and individually with the family to address any specific needs they have in their family.  All IHOC’s are trained in Nurturing Families, a DCFS approved parenting program.

Behavioral health treatment 

IHOC’s with approval by the Clinical Manager, refer children and adults to therapy outside of the FP program.  IHOC’s are not in a therapy role with the family.  The families wants and needs regarding therapy guide the referral.

Family violence intervention program 

Many of our IHOC”s have been trained in the 40 hour DV training.  However, all are able to recognize the signs of DV and will consult with the Clinical Manager as needed.  When the family needs DV counseling or group, Penny Lane through other contracts are often running groups and refer the DV victim or perpetrator to a group with no charge to the client.  IHOC’s address home safety which includes the prevention of DV, and education about the effects of DV on children in the in home meetings as needed.

family of four embracing and holding hands

Benefits of family preservation services 

The goals are guided by the family, as they are the experts of their needs.  DCFS/Probation may also have goals for the family and the IHOC and FP team are going to help the family to reach those goals through various avenues of In Home Counseling, community referrals and resources, concrete needs provision, psychoeducation to the whole family about how to live in a safe and nurturing home.

When should I seek out family preservation services? 

ALL FP referrals come through DCFS, we are not allowed to take direct or self referrals.  If a family is interested in the FP services and they have an open case, they can ask their DCFS Children’s Social Worker to refer them to Family Preservation.

Penny Lane | Our IHOC Programs

In-Home Outreach Counselors (IHOC) work with families to strengthen their parenting skills and communication, while also working to decrease challenges related to domestic violence, substance abuse, and mental health or other presenting issues.   Our Family Preservation programs link families to needed resources to help them complete their DCFS case plan while either keeping their children in their homes or assisting families to reunify with their children.  Clients are referred to this program through DCFS.  If you are interested in receiving Family Preservation services, please speak with your DCFS Children’s Social Worker.