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The Ideology of “Family Preservation”

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Family preservation is an initiative meant to retain children in their homes with their families instead of taking them to foster homes or other establishments. The initiative started as a response to policies that were put in place in order to take children out of their homes when their family divides.Article one gives an account on outcomes of family preservation through monitoring, counselling, and government assistance. The second article is about the success rates and the effectiveness of boys receiving care in the facility in comparison to them being monitored from home. The third and last source talks about the success rate of family preservation services available. This paper analyzes these three sources that give relevant information and findings on the family preservation services.

Article One

According to Heather et al. (1994), family preservation services are in two major categories namely; family preservation program and the homebuilders program. Homebuilder’s program offerss the entire family with services for a short specified period while family preservation program are designed to help children facing serious problems in their families. Another distinction between the two is that homebuilders program last for six month while the family preservation program takes three months.

The article by Heather et al. (1994), aims at comparing the outcomes of children under the family preservation services with those placed in a foster care. It mainly wants to establish the most effective and successful between two.

Family preservation and homebuilders programs have provided positive results to the families under the care and this has helped to reduce the number of children taken to foster care. The assistance offered to the children in their homes gives more benefits than taking them to the foster home(Heather et al., 1994). The decongestion of the foster care system has also led to reduction of the money spent on adoptive homes.

Through the family preservation programs, children are able to stay with their families with experiencing stressful situations that may be caused in a foster home due to lack of family bonding. Foster care can lead to low self-esteem among the teenagers as they grow up.

In reference to Heather et al. (1994), the family preservation also has its own weaknesses. Some of the families under the program end up in drugs which render the service invalid. Therefore, the money, resources, and time invested in such families end up as a waste.

Article Two

The article is about the effectiveness and success rate of monitoring boys from their homes instead of taking care of them at the foster care facilities. To achieve a successful home based monitoring of the boys, their parents undergo training and coaching on how to convert their family customs into progressive ones that will impact the children positively (Kristen et al., 2012). Parents are taught new means of dealing with their children’s conduct.

The study evaluated the success of monitoring boys from home rather than placing them in the group commonly referred to as Boys Town for behavior change. It aimed to establish whether the boys can still lead successful lives after being monitored from home instead of a foster home care.

Family preservation programs play a greater role in behavior improvement among children. The approach gives parents training and the knowledge of dealing with their children’s problems as they occur. Unlike the foster care programs, family preservation allows parents to be involved with the development and behavior change of their children(Kristen et al., 2012). The children also benefit from the relationship they develop with their families as opposed to a Boys to town group home.

The strengths of the family preservation program pointed out by this study include the increased number of families residing together with their children. The program also gives the parents a number of options for supporting and dealing with their own children behavior.

However, according to Kristen et al.(2012)few weaknesses exist according to the findings of this study. There is no supervision after the end of the program which makes most of the children to re-do the process. If the was adequate monitoring at the end of the program then this weakness would be mitigated.

Article Three

A study was carried out to determine the success rate of services offered by family preservation. The main variables were whether families would need reoccurring or ongoing services after the first family preservation services. According to Huebner et al. 2011, 1510 families and up to 3229 children were evaluated to establish the effectiveness of these services.

The outcome of this research indicated that most of the families requiredan ongoing service rather than the reoccurring one. However, families are not checked after receiving the initial services due to low funding.

According to Huebner et al. 2011, one of the strength of family preservation programs, is that they help families to become independent and it creates a nurturing atmosphere. Therefore, justifying why families need continuous monitoring after the preliminary services.

However, the limitations for successful outcomes of the process include the inability to offer long-lasting services to sustain an ongoing success among the affected families.


Family preservation programs were set in place to respond to the increased number of children joining foster care for corrective behavior development. The program’s main objective is to establish way of helping children from their homes. A number of studies were conducted to establish the effectives and success of family preservation services. The study finds the services to have more benefits to both the parents and the children affected. Parents get a chance to be involved in the development of their children, while the children are able to overcome the stigma that comes with being raised in a foster home. However, few weaknesses of the program are pointed out such as lack of monitoring and financial constraints to support the program.


Heather, D; Griffith, Annette; Ingram, Stephanie; Bolivar, Claudine; Mason, A. W & Trout, Alexandra. (1994). The Ideology of “Family Preservation” The Public Interest. Public Interest, 1. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from Columbia College Online Database Collection

Huebner, A. Ruth; Robertson, Lynda; Roberts, Charity; Brock, Audrey & Geremia, Vince. (2011). Family Preservation: Cost Avoidance and Child and Family Service Review Outcomes. Columbia College’s online database collection, 1. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from : 10.1080/15548732.2012.667742

Kristen, D. H (2012). an approach to examinig the proximal and intermediate outcomes of an intensive family preservation program. Columbia College online database collection, 1. Retrieved February 15, 2015, from . http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1007/s10826-011-9563-z

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