The effectiveness of intensive family preservation services for reducing depression and everyday stressors and increasing perceived social support among primary caregivers of children involved in Florida's Child Protective Services and foster care
Child abuse and neglect are becoming increasingly widespread, with out-of-home placement the traditional solution. In Florida alone predictions indicate that by 1995 over 850,000 children will be placed. But placement is costly and detrimental to children. Rather, the goal is to keep families intact. This study reports on the effectiveness of an intensive family preservation services program (FPS) implemented in Miami, Florida. This program strictly replicated the Homebuilders model: short-term, intensive, with extensive counselor availability, and delivery of myriad clinical and concrete services. The subjects, 84 primary caregivers from low-income, largely minority, multiproblem families, were all in crisis and referred by HRS from foster care, protective services, or postplacement units. A one-group pre-posttest design was employed to test the intervention on three dependent variables: depression, everyday stressors, and perceived social support. Subjects completed multisection self-reports at commencement and termination. Three hypotheses were tested: Participation in an intensive FPS program will result in a decrease in depression (Hypothesis 1), a decrease in everyday stressors (Hypothesis 2), and an increase in perceived social support (Hypothesis 3). Three research questions were posed: Which demographic variables have differential effects on the outcome of FPS for reducing depression (Research Question 1), reducing everyday stressors (Research Question 2), and increasing perceived social support (Research Question 3)? Results of the data analyses revealed that overall on all three dependent variables primary caregivers changed in the hypothesized direction. Significant demographic variables were also identified for differential effects and predictive powers. This program was found effective in producing change in at-risk primary caregivers. The study was unique in targeting the primary caregiver as the unit of analysis and in treating successfully high-risk multiproblem subjects, most of whom were serious drug abusers, whose abuse dramatically decreased. Implications for research, practice, and policy include FPS in curricula of social work schools, monitored training and implementation, and increased funding for expansion of Homebuilders-based programs. With commitment to excellence in delivering FPS, social workers will contribute outstandingly to the preservation and reunification of families.
Social work|Public policy
Jenkins, Lori Ann, "The effectiveness of intensive family preservation services for reducing depression and everyday stressors and increasing perceived social support among primary caregivers of children involved in Florida's Child Protective Services and foster care" (1994). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9432988.