Parent Aide Services & Counseling

holding handsParenting Skills program provides counseling and parent aide services for individuals and families who are in the process of investigation or resolution of issues related to CPS involvement. Counseling and Parent Aide Services are two separate programs, contracted through CPS.

Counselors are either PH.D. or Master’s level therapists. Their services are provided in our Tempe office. All counselors have a minimum of 24 hours of training on clinical issues per year. They are either licensed or participate in weekly supervision with a certified professional counselor.

Parent Aides are either Bachelor’s level or experienced technicians. All parent aides receive 30 hours of CPS directed training. They work with families in the Parenting Skills office, in the CPS office or in client homes.

Both counselors and parent aides use and build on family strengths to help family members maintain their identity as a family and their family relationships during separation. Counselors have therapeutic conversations with clients about the issues that led to CPS intervention. They also help facilitate communication and problem solving among family members.

Parent aides often transport children to visits with their families and create progress notes about the nature of the parent-child interaction. They also assist families in identifying and accessing community resources in order to ameliorate the conditions that contribute to families living apart.

Both counselors and parent aides disseminate information on parenting and effective individual functioning. Parent aides and counselors also prepare monthly written reports that are submitted to CPS. These reports are used to help make decisions about permanent plans for children.

Counseling and Parent Aide Services FAQ

What is the cost of these services?

There is no cost to CPS clients. The agency is paid through its contract with CPS.

What is the relationship between Parenting Skills Program and CPS? Is Parenting Skills the same as CPS?

Parenting Skills is not CPS. It is a private agency committed to assessing situations fairly and helping to maintain individual and family integrity. Because of the nature of our contract, our reports and assessments are submitted directly to CPS, so counseling and parent aide services are not confidential to anyone involved in the case. They are confidential to outside parties.

How much time can my parent aide spend on my family?

Parent aides usually work with 7-8 families at a time, so they have a limit of about 4-5 hours per week to spend with each family. This time includes travel, transportation, phone calls and writing reports.

If I miss a visit with my child, can the parent aide reschedule?

The parent aide will make every effort to reschedule, but oftentimes, because their time is so tightly booked, missed visits cannot be rescheduled.

Where do visits occur?

Visits usually occur at a CPS office. As case goals are met, the CPS treatment team may decide to move the visits to a public area and eventually to a family home.

What is my parent aide looking for during visitation?

The parent aide will be assessing parent-child interaction and parent’s management and nurturing skills during visitation. If the parent aide notices some parenting skills that could be improved, they will provide the parent feedback, materials and information during individual meetings with the parent.

Does my parent aide have the right to end the visit?

Visitation is very important to children and parents, so parent aides seldom end visits. There are certain violations, however, that can lead to an end to the visit. They are listed below.

Visiting parents may not:

  • Interrogate, threaten, or harass their child
  • Criticize their child or others, such as case managers, foster family members, court officials during the visit
  • Ask the child for information regarding the foster parents, the foster home location, or foster parent’s household routines
  • Discuss the case or information regarding the child’s testimony
  • Say things that make child feel sad or guilty, or sorry for them
  • Use vulgar language
  • Bring guns, knives or other dangerous instruments to the visitation

Reasons for stopping visitations may include any of the following:

  • Any behaviors listed above
  • Coming to visit in an intoxicated or “high” condition or smelling of alcohol
  • Creating a scene, (becoming angry, yelling, or screaming) which upsets the child
Can I request a different parent aide or counselor be assigned to me?

If there is not a good fit between the client and the referred staff, the person requesting the change can put their concerns in writing to the program director, and, if there is good reason, a new parent aide or counselor may be assigned.

How long will my counselor or parent aide wait for me if I am late?

The agency waiting time is 15 minutes, after that the appointment is considered a missed visit.

How long will my parent aide work with me and my family?

A parent aide will work with a family until assessment goals are met or 6 to 8 months, whichever is sooner. The agency will not continue to work with clients who repeatedly miss appointments, however. The agency expects clients to keep appointments or call to cancel. Repeated missed appointments may result in discontinuation of services. The cancellation policy for counseling and parent aide services is:

  • Clients of Parenting Skills Program are expected to keep their appointments with Parenting Skills staff
  • Barring an unforeseen document able emergency, if a client cannot keep his or her appointment, he or she 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 a client has three no-shows, staff personnel are no longer required to schedule further appointments until a staffing can be held with the client and the referral source to address the problem.
  • Assigned staff will write the client a letter detailing the three no-shows and inform clients that he or she must contact his or her case manager to set up a staffing to address the issue before services will resume. This letter will be sent to the case manager and placed in the client file.
  • If the client does not respond to this letter or if the client continues to no-show even after the staffing is held, the assigned staff will approach the clinical supervisor about closing the case.