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Child Protective Services: Family Preservation

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2107 FAMILY PRESERVATION PROGRAMS
Introduction
Early Intervention/Preventive Services, Parent Aide Services, Prevention of
Unnecessary Placement (PUP), and Homestead programs are Georgia Department of
Human Resources initiatives to provide family services to families with children in need
of service, at risk for foster care placement, or ready for reunification. It is critical that
we establish partnerships with community-based resources so that together we can
assist families in need of early intervention as well as those in need of more intensive
services.
These are purchased services through community based organizations, vendors and
service providers. These programs are designed to help ensure a child’s protection,
safety and best interest. These services can be utilized on a continuum or in tandem as
part of a family’s safety and/or case plan to manage and reduce the risk factors
contributing to child abuse and neglect. Providers of these services are mandated
reporters and must report to the Department suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.

EARLY INTERVENTION/PREVENTIVE SERVICES
The goal of Early Intervention/Preventive Services is to provide voluntary family support
services and information about community services to prevent problematic family issues
from escalating to the point of required CPS intervention. Families believed to be in
need of early intervention services are referred to community based resources by the
county department. Early Intervention/Preventive Services are purchased services
through a vendor. Early Intervention services are available for CPS referrals that are
substantiated and closed with dispositions of low risk, referrals that are
unsubstantiated and closed, referrals that are screened-out and open cases
reassessed as low risk and subsequently closed. (See 2107.1)
Early Intervention/Preventive Services are voluntary and are offered at no cost to the
family. If a child is being seriously or deliberately maltreated or physical living
conditions are hazardous, an out-of-home placement is required to assure safety.
Early Intervention will not be used to keep children in unsafe environments or at
risk of further maltreatment.
A family with an open CPS case is not eligible to receive Early Intervention/Preventive
Services but may be eligible for Parent Aide Services. Early Intervention/Preventive
Services engage paraprofessional staff to provide parenting education and support to
Social Services Manual
September 2000

Child Protective Chapter 2100, Section VII
Page 1

Child Protective Services: Family Preservation
families through group classes, in-home visitation and provide information about
community services. These services are designed to strengthen vulnerable families
and prevent child abuse and neglect. Early Intervention staff work with families to
prevent problematic family issues from escalating to the point of requiring CPS
intervention.
Early Intervention/Preventive Services may give a family the help it needs before
problems become serious enough for CPS. If a family requires more than “brief” or
early intervention, the case may need to be opened and additional services provided. If
a case is opened, Early Intervention services are closed. If the case is opened, the
case manager assesses the situation and determines what services are needed.
Additionally, Early Intervention services may be used for open CPS cases that have
been reassessed as low risk and closed.
For a detailed description of Early Intervention/Preventive Services, eligibility
requirements, and procedure/practice guidelines, see 2107.1 through 2107.7.
*Adult Protective Services cases are not eligible for Early Intervention/Preventive Services.

PARENT AIDE
The goal of the Parent Aide Program is to stabilize and help families in need of
intervention by providing in-home and group parenting education and referring these
families to community based resources. Parent Aide Services are a paraprofessional
family support and prevention program available to any family with an open Social
Services* case. The Parent Aide Program engages paraprofessional staff to provide
parenting education, training and support to families through group classes and in-home
visitation. Parent Aides work as a team member with casework staff, with the goal of
ensuring the safety and protection of children by improving parenting competency.
Objectives are to strengthen the parent-child bond, reduce social isolation, build trust,
help parents identify their children’s needs and ways to respond to those needs, and
appropriate discipline. Other responsibilities may include emergency respite care, food
and nutrition education (i.e. meal planning, advice on grocery shopping, meal
preparation, safe food handling and sanitation), information on homemaking and
budgeting topics, and assistance in accessing community resources.
The Parent Aide Program is a paraprofessional support program, as opposed to
therapeutic intervention. Parent Aide services are most useful for cooperative parents
who are experiencing stress and are open to learning new approaches to parenting.
These services are not designed to address issues that require clinical intervention.
Parents who have chronically neglected, seriously injured, sexually abused, abandoned
a child or have a mental illness or disability often need more structured intervention than
is available through parent aides.

Social Services Manual
September 2000

Child Protective Chapter 2100, Section VII
Page 2

For a detailed description of Parent Aide services, eligibility requirements, and
procedure/practice guidelines, see 2107.8 through 2107.14.
*Adult Protective Services cases are not eligible.

PREVENTION OF UNNECESSARY PLACEMENT (PUP)
The goal of PUP services is to reduce risk factors contributing to child maltreatment to
ensure the protection and safety of children. PUP services include: emergency
housing/financial assistance, temporary child care services, counseling, emergency
transportation needs, emergency medical/dental needs and psychiatric/psychological
testing, funding for drug screens, and substance abuse assessments. A family must
have an open Social Services case to receive PUP services.
The PUP Program offers an array of support and intervention services. Through PUP,
psychological or psychiatric assessments, substance abuse assessments, drug
screens, and counseling may be obtained through vendors who have the necessary
skills and training to address more serious problems. PUP may be used to help a family
through a financial crisis with emergency rent, utilities or child care. The most ineffective
use of PUP is to pay for rent or utilities without assessing how the family got into this
difficulty. If the family's crisis is because of some unavoidable emergency, PUP can be
helpful. If the family's difficulties are chronic and reflecting a lifestyle of crisis, PUP
should not be used.
For a detailed description of PUP services, eligibility
procedure/practice guidelines, see 2107.15 through 2107.25.

requirements,

and

*Adult Protective Services cases are not eligible.

HOMESTEAD
The goal of Homestead Services is to stabilize and help families in need of intensive
therapeutic intervention to insure a safe and healthy environment for the family.
Homestead Services provide short-term, intensive, crisis-oriented, in-home counseling
program in order to stabilize the family and insure a safe and healthy environment for
the children. This program attempts to meet the immediate /crisis-oriented needs of
families while also beginning to address the root causes of family dysfunction with
therapeutic intervention strategies. The Homestead program provides comprehensive
assessment, family support, counseling and crisis intervention to manage the risk
factors contributing to child abuse and neglect. A family must have an open Social
Services* case to receive Homestead services.

Homestead is the most intensive of the Family Preservation programs. Homestead
services are best matched to families in crisis and who require therapeutic or clinically
oriented intervention. Homestead has been successful with a variety of families with
significant problems. Several common factors with these families include a desire and
motivation to change and the emotional and intellectual resources to benefit from
counseling. Homestead Services can and should be used for cases that have been
evaluated and found to be high-risk cases. Additionally, Homestead Services can be
used for children at imminent risk of f placement and reunification when a child is being
returned to his/her family. Homestead Services can be part of the reunification plan.
For a detailed description of Homestead services, eligibility requirements, and
procedure/practice guidelines, see 2107.26 through 2107.32.
*Adult Protective Services cases are not eligible.

Family Preservation Programs
Early Intervention/Preventive Services can help families before they reach the point of
needing CPS intervention. Once a case is opened for services, Parent Aide, PUP and
Homestead Program can work together providing support, education and counseling to
families to form a continuum of services. Each program offers distinct strengths and
services. DFCS case managers assess which services are most appropriate for each
family. The following is a general comparison of the programs and the families they
best serve.
Several tenets of family preservation services underlie the philosophy of the Early
Intervention/Preventive Services, Parent Aide, PUP, and Homestead programs:
1.The goal of family preservation services is to ensure the protection and safety of a
child at risk of maltreatment.
2.The Division of Family and Children Services should invest at least, as much time,
energy and resources into preserving and strengthening a child's natural family as it
would spend in providing out-of-home care for that child. No child in the State of
Georgia should be placed into foster care for purely or chiefly temporary financial
problems in the family.
3.Family preservation services help families help themselves by preserving and
strengthening a child's own family and promoting a family's self-sufficiency,
self-determination and independence.

4.Family Preservation Programs are key elements in Georgia's family preservation services and
permanency planning required by Public Law 96-272, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare
Act of 1980.
5.Family Preservation Programs are supported by P.L. 103-66, the Family Preservation and Support
Services; Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.
Several factors suggest that family preservation services may not be effective in certain cases. Outof-home placement of children into foster care is necessary whenever a child’s safety cannot be
ensured through controlling safety interventions, or when risk cannot be effectively managed in the
home. A CHILD'S RIGHT TO PROTECTION AND SAFETY OUTWEIGHS A PARENT'S RIGHT TO
THE CHILD AND IS ALWAYS THE PRIMARY CONSIDERATION IN CPS. Therefore, family
preservation may not be an appropriate goal in the following situations:
 chronic, cruel or life-threatening abuse
- sexual abuse where the offender is likely to have access to the child, or where the non-offending
parent is unwilling or unable to be protective of the child
 families with a death of a sibling as a result of maltreatment
- families with repeated foster care placements
 parents that have abandoned the child
- children that refuse to go home or parents that do not want their children home
 parents with drug or alcohol addiction that is being denied or untreated
- parents with repeated or serious criminal activity
 parents denying the maltreatment or unwilling to participate in necessary services

Life is like a big merry-go-round,
You're up and then down,
Going in circles trying to get to where you are.
Everybody's been counting you out,
But where are they now?
Sitting in the same old place,
Just faces in the crowd.
We all make mistakes,
You might fall on your face,
But you gotta get up!
I'd rather stand tall
Than live on my knees,
'Cause I am a conqueror,
And I won't accept defeat!

Try telling me no,
One thing about me
Is I am a conqueror,
I am a conqueror!
Ooh oh
Got a vision that no one else sees,
Lot of dirty work, roll up your sleeves,
Remember there's a war out there,
So come prepared to fight!
You never know where the road leads you,
Not everyone's gonna believe you,
Even though they're wrong, don't prove them right.
I'd rather stand tall
Than live on my knees,
'Cause I am a conqueror,
And I won't accept defeat!
Try telling me no,
One thing about me
Is I am a conqueror,
I am a conqueror!
Ooh oh
I am a conqueror!
We all make mistakes,
You might fall on your face,
but you gotta get up!
We all make mistakes,
You might fall on your face,
Don't ever give up!
I'd rather stand tall
Than live on my knees,
'Cause I am a conqueror,
And I won't accept defeat!
Try telling me no,
One thing about me
Is I am a conqueror,
I am a conqueror!
Ooh oh
I am a conqueror
We all make mistakes,

You might fall on your face,
But I am a conqueror!

FOSTER CARE
Georgia

Ga. Code § 49-5-281

Creates the foster parents’ bill of rights.

(3) The right to continue with his or her own family values and beliefs, so long as the values and beliefs of the foster child and the birth
family are not infringed upon and consideration is given to the special needs of children who have experienced trauma and separation
from their families. This shall include the right to exercise parental authority within the limits of policies, procedures, and other directions
of the Division of Family and Children Services and within the limits of the laws of the State of Georgia;
(4) The right to receive both standardized pre-service training, including training in Division of Family and Children Services policies
and procedures and appropriate ongoing training, by the Division of Family and Children Services or the placing agency at appropriate
intervals to meet mutually assessed needs of the child and to improve foster parents' skills and to apprise foster parents of any changes
in policies and procedures of the Division of Family and Children Services and any changes in applicable law;

http://developingchild.harvard.edu/resources/reports_and_working_papers/working_papers/wp12/
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WWW.DEVELOPINGCHILD.HARVARD.EDU The Science of Neglect: The Persistent Absence of
Responsive Care Disrupts the Developing Brain
The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as amended by the
Keeping
Children
and
Families
Safe
Act,
defies
child
abuse and neglect as “at a minimum, any recent act or failure to act on the part of a
parent
or
caretaker,
which
results
in
death,
serious
physical
or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which
presents
an
imminent
risk
of
serious
harm.”7,8
This latter dimension—“failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm”—
lies at the core of most legal definitions of neglect, but it fails to sufficiently acknowledge
the less immediately visible but highly threatening, long-term consequences of
excessive deprivation that can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and
health.
Children who experience severe neglect—defined broadly as the ongoing disruption or
significant absence of caregiver responsiveness—bear the burdens of a range of adverse
consequences. Indeed, deprivation or neglect can cause more harm to a young child’s
development than overt physical abuse, including subsequent cognitive delays,
impairments in executive functioning, and disruptions of the body’s stress
response.9,10,11
When chronic deprivation leads to persistent activation of stress response systems in a
young child, it can actually disrupt and weaken developing brain architecture. Over time,
the wear and tear of this excessive stress response and the chemicals it releases can
lead to academic struggles, difficulties in social adjustment, mental health problems, and
even chronic physical disease.
Within
this

context,

most

circumstances

that

are

Understanding
the
biological
effects
of
inadequate
responsiveness
to the needs of young children has important implications for policy decisions—but it is important to also acknowledge
that
the
term
“neglect”
carries special signifiance because of its association with the child welfare system and its implications for case
documentation and adjudication. The federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), as
amended
by
the
Keeping
Children
and
Families
Safe
Act,
defies
child
abuse
and
neglect
as
“at
a
minimum,
any
recent
act
or
failure
to
act
on
the
part
of
a
parent
or
caretaker,
which
results
in
death,
serious
physical
or
emotional
harm,
sexual
abuse
or
exploitation,
or
an
act
or
failure
to
act
which
presents
an
imminent
risk
of
serious
harm.” 7,8
This
latter
dimension—“failure
to
act
which
presents
an
imminent
risk of serious harm”—lies at the core of most legal defiitions of neglect, but it fails to suffiiently acknowledge the less
immediately
visible
but highly threatening, long-term consequences of excessive deprivation that can lead to lifelong problems in learning,
behavior,
and
health.
Indeed,
science
tells
us
that
many
young
children
who
are
identifid
by
the
child
welfare
system
as
meeting
the
criteria
for
reportable
neglect
may
not
exhibit
evidence
of
physical
harm,
yet
they
may
have
already
sustained disruptions of their developing brain circuitry (or other developing organs and metabolic systems) that could
have
serious
lifelong
consequences.
To researchers, neglect—also sometimes referred to as deprivation—refers to the absence of suffiient attention,
responsiveness,
and
protection that are appropriate to the age and needs of a child. The potential seriousness of such a circumstance is
acknowledged
broadly,
yet

its
specific
parameters
can
vary
widely
by
type,
duration,
and
cultural
differences
in
child-rearing
beliefs
and
practices.
This
paper
is
intended
to
help
policymakers
and
practitioners
distinguish
among
various
forms
of
neglect—and
potential
responses
to
them—by
focusing
not
on
state
or federal definitions but on biological responses to the diverse characteristics of unresponsive care that can
undermine
healthy
development.
While understanding that the terms “neglect” and “serious neglect” indicate important distinctions to policymakers
through
definitions
that
have
been
codified
in
various
legislative
or
administrative
decisions,
in
this
paper
they
are
employed
to
reflect
the
descriptive
terminology
used
by
neuroscientists
and
developmental
scholars.

Defining

Neglect

selected
for
investigation
fall
within
one
of
the
following
categories:
(1)
physical
or
supervisory
neglect
(i.e.,
failure
to
provide
adequate
food,
shelter,
hygiene,
and/or
appropriate
oversight
to
ensure
a
child’s
safety);
(2)
psychological
neglect (i.e., failure to attend to a child’s emotional and/or social needs); (3) medical neglect
(i.e.,
failure
to
secure
adequate
treatment
for
an
identified health problem); and (4) educational neglect (i.e., failure to meet a child’s formal
learning needs). Notwithstanding their distinctive characteristics, these four forms of neglect
have
often
been
found
to
co-occur. 24,25,26
And
while
these
distinctions
are
time-tested
and
valid,
they
do
not
help
with
the
challenge
of
judging
relative
severity
or
determining
when
to
intervene.
Here
the
science
of
development
and
neurobiology of stress can help.

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