What Is IFPS?

IFPS stands for Intensive Family Preservation Services. These services are designed to support families in crisis in which children are either at imminent risk of placement or have been placed outside their homes.

These services are for birth and adoptive families and are effective as reunification services as well as for placement prevention. The goal is to keep children safe and avoid both unnecessary removal and unnecessarily long separations from family in out-of-home care. IFPS programs share the values, beliefs, and program characteristics outlined below.

  • We work to promote family as the first priority permanency option for children.
  • We view IFPS as part of a continuum of services necessary to support families.

NFPN Values and Beliefs About IFPS

  • Safety for children is our highest priority.
  • The family is the focus of service.
  • Children are better off with their own families whenever safely possible.
  • Troubled families can change.
  • Families are colleagues of IFPS staff.
  • Families’ beliefs and values must be respected.
  • It is an IFPS worker’s job to instill hope.
  • A crisis is an opportunity for change.
  • Inappropriate interventions can do harm.

IFPS Program Characteristics

  • Immediate response within 24 hours
  • Accessibility of staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Small caseloads (2 to 4 families)
  • Intensive interventions (8 to 10 hours per week as needed)
  • Service delivery in the family’s home and community
  • Usually short-term services (4 to 8 weeks), to be followed by other support services
  • Hard & soft services delivered by the same worker
  • Recognizes importance of interaction between families and communities, and helps families to forge those links
  • Goal-oriented with “limited” objectives
  • Focused on teaching skills

The values, beliefs, and program characteristics of IFPS as described above are adapted from the core values and program characteristics of the HOMEBUILDERS® model of IFPS. HOMEBUILDERS® is a registered trademark and may not be used without permission of the Institute for Family Development.