Family Reunification Services are provided to families referred from DCS. To provide in-home crisis intervention and parent education services to help safely transition a child in out of home placements to biological or adoptive placements. There is a target to have the child returned to home within 30 days of our services starting. Identified family strengths are used to make positive behavioral changes in family functioning and to insure the safety of children residing in the home.
The service is provided by a team consisting of a Team Lead which is a Master’s level counselor and a Family Support Worker. The team meets with the family a minimum of two times per week for the first 60 days in their home to work on identified treatment goals. Team Lead appointments drop down during the 60-90-day period if the safety concerns are limited to none and again at the 90-120 period of services. There is an emergency phone number given to all participants during services that will insure families can access assistance from the agency on nights and weekends also.
Is Parenting Skills staff the same as DCS?
No. Parenting Skills Program is a private agency that is contracted by DCS to provide family services. We are committed to independent fair assessment of families. Because of the provisions in our contract, however, we do report to DCS and write a weekly report of each family’s progress on treatment goals as well as details of our appointments and services. Family Reunification Services are not confidential to anyone involved in the case. They are confidential to outside parties.
What will happen if I refuse to participate in Family Reunification Services after DCS refers me?
If you refuse services, the team will ask you to sign a Refusal of Service form, and your case will be returned to DCS. It will be the decision of DCS what will happen next.
What are the benefits of participating in Family Reunification Services?
The Family Reunification Program is very successful in enhancing and assisting in the transition of children to their biological or adoptive placements. Family Reunification teams know many skills and resources to aid families and children. They work very hard to meet at convenient times for families and keep disruptions to a minimum.
What are the rules of participation in Family Reunification Services?
Families must make themselves and their children available to meet with the team two times a week for a minimum of an hour and work toward meeting treatment goals. The team needs to see every member of the family at least one time per week and be in the home two times per week. Families must also adhere to the agency cancellation/no-show policy which is detailed here:
- A client family is expected to make room in their household schedule to see the team at least two times per week and to keep their appointments with Parenting Skills Program staff.
- Barring an unforeseen documentable emergency, if a client cannot keep his or her appointment, they will be expected to call the agency or staff to cancel within 12 hours of the appointment. Failure to do this will be considered a no-show.
- Once the client has three consecutive or sporadic no-shows, the assigned team will not schedule any more appointments, but the counselor/Team Lead will compose and send an agency letter to the family asking them to call to schedule an appointment within 10 business days. This letter will also be copied and sent to the DCS Family Reunification CM DCS Supervisor.
- If the family does not call within the allotted time period, the case will be closed by Parenting Skills Program and a letter will be sent to the Department of Child Safety informing them of the reason for discontinuing services
What kind of services are provided by the Family Reunification Teams?
- Crisis intervention counseling
- Family assessment, goal setting and case planning in accordance with safety and risk factors and behavioral changes identified by DCS
- Individual, family and marital therapy
- Communication and negotiation skills
- Structured parenting education and child development
- Problem solving skills and stress management
- Home management and nutrition
- Comprehensive Family Assessments
- Linkages with community resources including Government Aid (AHCCCS, Food Stamps, WIC, Cash Assistance), recreation, employment, housing, medical, mental health, parenting, educational, family activities, counseling, and behavioral health.
- Family Support Worker to assist family with setting up school enrollment, specialized services needed for the family, doctor appointments, etc and transporting clients to these locations when needed.
- Emergency Funds
How long do services last?
Services usually last from 90 to 120 days, depending on family need.