Celebrating 20 Years!
NFPN board and staff travel to New Jersey this month to jointly celebrate NFPN's 20th Anniversary and the 25th Anniversary of family preservation in that state. New Jersey implemented IFPS early on and has provided consistently effective services.
Engaging Reluctant Families—The First VisitThe National Family Preservation Network (NFPN) recently provided training for Alaska on engaging reluctant families from the first visit (see March News Notes for more information on engaging families). The presenters, Cindy Riddell and Annas Lefort, work for DCCCA, the largest family preservation services provider in the state of Kansas.
The first step in engaging reluctant families is to listen to them--the family is the expert! The worker and the family form a team to address and find solutions for problems. The worker offers hope. Another way to build trust with the family is to meet concrete needs by providing food, diapers, bus passes, and so on.
The state of Kansas issues the first payment to contracted providers if the family signs the case plan within 20 days. Linking payment of services to workers effectively engaging families provides strong motivation to do so! And DCCCA has an outstanding record: 95% of families sign the case plan within 20 days.
Here are just a few of the principles used by the Kansas DCCCA agency to engage reluctant families:
- Maximize choice, minimize demands. Choice includes asking families how they learn best (books, video, hands-on) and providing that method for them
- Find out what worked and what didn't. One family expressed that they were sick of doing contracts--try a new approach!
- Leave something behind at each home visit. It can be information, a new skill ... anything that is productive.
- The most powerful tool: develop a positive working relationship.
Exit Instruments Study Update
Thanks to all who expressed interest in participating in the exit instruments study. We still need more programs--if your agency is currently using the NCFAS-G and you're interested in helping test the exit instruments, please contact Priscilla Martens at
or phone 888-498-9047.
Due to the 20th Anniversary Celebration in New Jersey and staff vacations, NFPN will have limited services available the last two weeks of May. Please order and pay for products by Friday, May 18, to ensure receiving shipments by June 1.