Intensive Family Reunification Services Protocol
The National Family Preservation Network's Intensive Family Reunification Services (IFRS) protocol includes an overview of the history, program standards, linkages to federal laws and policies, current research, public policy resources, and tools for reunifying children with their families. The intent of this protocol is to expand the availability of IFRS programs and ensure that they are rooted in proven, research-based models.
While reunification has always been the primary goal for children removed from their families, only in recent years has the effectiveness of reunification services been linked to intensive services.
Federal laws and policies have consistently supported family reunification; however, states' interpretation of the 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act has shifted the focus to termination of parental rights and adoption. There is no indication, however, that there will ever be a sufficient number of adoptive homes for the number of children legally free for adoption. The federal Child and Family Services Review is once again shining the spotlight on reunification as states struggle to meet the standards for reuniting children with their families within twelve months and preventing re-entry into foster care.
NFPN believes that states can meet the federal requirements for family reunification through short-term, intensive, home-based services designed to reunite families in which children are likely to remain in out-of-home placement for longer than six months without this intervention.
NFPN provides resources, tools, training, and technical assistance to states for intensive reunification services. After reviewing the protocol, please let us know how we may assist you.