When a family's problems become so severe that traditional community resources are unable to help them effectively, caseworkers are usually advised to place children outside the home. Family preservation services such as Homebuilders are designed to give caseworkers and families another option: services that are more intensive, accessible, flexible, and goal-oriented than conventional supports. Instead of relieving family pressure by removing a child, the approach described here adds resources to alleviate pressure and to facilitate the development of a nurturing environment for children within the context of the family. Whereas crisis intervention attempts to resolve immediate problems their approach enables the family to function better after the crisis than before. In addition to their obvious social benefits, family preservation services are cost effective. Straightforward and practice-oriented, Keeping Families Together profiles the kinds of families that are assisted by prevention services such as this, tracing the salient features of its innovative approach to crisis intervention, its organizational features, and its knowledge and research base. Rich in actual examples drawn from family practice, this book will be of great interest to beginning students as well as practitioners in family and children's services. The book is also intended for those who are considering beginning their own Family Preservation Services to evaluate whether or not the approach will be a good fit for them, to become aware of some of the complexities of program design and training so that they can make informed decisions. When the book first appeared, Contemporary Psychology said that it "speaks for itself as a wonderful description of how to be of help to families in crisis."
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