Program

Homebuilders

Sep 12, 2008

OVERVIEW

Homebuilders is a
home- and community-based program for families with children in foster care.
The program was designed to encourage family reunification and prevent
unnecessary placement of children in outside care facilities. Program
strategies include building family relationships, conducting skills training,
addressing concrete needs, and providing in-home support after initial re-entry
and reunification process. In an evaluation of the program, 120 families with
children in foster care were randomly assigned to receive either family
reunification services (Homebuilders) or routine reunification services.
Results indicated that the number of days from start of treatment period until
the children returned home was significantly shorter for families in the
Homebuilders experimental group than for control group families receiving
routine services. At the end of the study, 70 percent of the treatment group
lived at home, compared with 47% of the control group.

DESCRIPTION
OF PROGRAM

Target
population: 
Foster children between the ages of 0 and 17.

Homebuilders is a
home and community-based program for families with children in foster care. The
goal of the program is to prevent unnecessary placement of the children in
foster care, group care, psychiatric care, or juvenile justice facilities. To
achieve this, it seeks to strengthen family relationships, conduct skills
training, address concrete needs, and provide in-home support during the
reunification process.

The
relationship-building component of the program focuses on building hope,
instilling confidence between family members, and creating a capacity for
self-examination. The skills training portion of the program targets family
limitations and works to build upon these areas through skills demonstrations,
practice activities, and family homework. The program also provides resources
for addressing unmet nutrition, housing, employment, and health needs. Finally,
the workers provide in-home support after the initial re-entry and during the
reunification process.

It is recommended
that families engage in 2-hour sessions, three to five days a week, for a
minimum of 30 days. The intervention period can last up to 90 days.

EVALUATION OF
PROGRAM

Fraser, M. W.,
Walton, E., Lewis, R. E., Pecora, P. J., & Walton, W. K. (1996). An experiment
in family reunification: Correlates of outcomes at one-year follow-up. Child
and Youth Services Review, 18,
335-361.

Evaluated
population: 
110 families with children between the ages of 1 and 17 in
foster care and residing in the state of Utah served as the sample for this
evaluation.

Approach:
Families were randomly assigned to receive either experimental family
reunification services (Homebuilders) or routine reunification services. The
services were given over a 90-day period. Families in the Homebuilders group
received services delivered by trained child welfare caseworkers. The number
and duration of home visits conducted for families in the Homebuilders
intervention group was not reported in the evaluation summary. Families in the
control group received routine reunification services for families with children
in foster care.

Results:
Results indicated that the number of days from the start of the treatment period
until the children returned home was significantly shorter for families in the
Homebuilders experimental group than for families receiving routine services.
At the end of the study, significantly more children in the experimental group
lived at home (70.2%) compared with the controls (47.2%). Non-experimental
analyses of children who were re-unified indicated similar durations at home
after reunification.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Link to program manual:


http://www.institutefamily.org/products_books.asp

Information on implementing this
program can be obtained from:

Institute for
Family Development

Main Office and
Training Division

34004 16th
Ave. South, Suite 200

Federal Way, WA
98003-8903

Phone: (253)
874-3630; Fax: (253) 838-1670

E-mail:

cbooth@institutefamily.org

Website:

http://www.institutefamily.org/

References:

Fraser, M. W.,
Walton, E., Lewis, R. E., Pecora, P. J., & Walton, W. K. (1996). An experiment
in family reunification: Correlates of outcomes at one-year follow-up. Child
and Youth Services Review, 18,
335-361.

KEYWORDS: Infants (0-12 months), Toddlers (12-36 months), Children (3-11), Adolescents (12-17), Youth (16+), Males and Females (Co-ed), High-Risk, Home-based, Clinic/Provider-based, Manual is Available, Skills Training, Home Visitation, Case Management, Counseling/Therapy, Parent of Family Component, Family Therapy, Parent-Child Relationship, Family Structure/Marriage, Child Maltreatment.

 

Program
information last updated on 9/12/08.

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