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Services for Families with DFCS Involvement
All services provided to families involved with DFCS are funded by Providing Safe and Stable Families (PSSF), therefore there is no cost to the families. We generally maintain a caseload of 40-45 families between our 4 offices for this type of case. Our services are designed to provide meaningful contact for families and to improve outcomes for families working towards reunification. We are also able to provide services for families who are not working towards reunification.
The process to initiate services is 1) a referral is received from DFCS, 2) Staff contacts the parent and schedules an intake appointment, 3) After the intake is completed with the parent, staff contacts the foster family to schedule visits, 4) Visitation is scheduled to occur as soon as possible after the intake and regularly scheduled services commence.
Staff will only contact the Case Manager if there is a problem with scheduling the services, otherwise, Four Points will handle the process from referral to service.
Reports are completed that detail all interaction with families including visitation reports. These reports are automatically forwarded to the Case Manager for the case soon after they are completed. The client's attorney will also receive a copy if the client opts for that. Staff is available for Family Team Meetings, Citizen Panel Reviews, and Court Testimony as necessary.
This is our primary service for DFCS clients. We arrange for families to have meaningful and safe contact while separated by foster care or a safety plan. Visitation is normally scheduled once per week for two hours at a time. If the child is an infant under 1, the child is available, and there are open slots for it, we can schedule visits to be twice per week. We do sibling visits for children who are separated from their siblings in foster care as well. After a referral is received from the Case Manager, Four Points staff makes all arrangements for visitation with the family members and the foster family.
Four Points transporters pick up children in foster care from either school, daycare, or their foster home and transports them for their visits. This can be either roundtrip or one way depending on need. Generally, we do not transport children across county lines as this is a limited resource for Four Points and as a result, is only available for close distance transports. Providing transportation increases the contact that children are able to have with their families and assists foster families. This service is meant to facilitate visitation and is offered for children that have foster parents who are working and as a result, are unable to provide this transportation for their foster children.
Four Points transporters pick up parents from their home and transport them either one way or roundtrip for their visits. This service is offered for parents who do not have reliable transportation in order to facilitate their regular bonding time with their children. This is a limited resource for Four Points and as a result, is only offered for close proximity transports. Transportation is only offered to and from visits and is not available for any other destinations.
Resource Meetings/Case Management
Four Points staff works with our parents to ensure that they have all of the resources they need to become stable and successful. Staff meets with parents to identify any needs that are not being met and through providing brochures, making contact with resources, and sending referrals, staff assists parents in obtaining the resources they are in need of. Staff also works with the parents on meeting case plan goals for reunification during resource meetings. Common resources provided are: low income housing, public transportation, discount food programs and food banks, enrichment classes, and emergency shelters.
Certified Four Points staff conducts oral screens on parents either prior to visits or on suspicion of intoxication. Positive specimens are forwarded to a testing lab for further confirmation. Screens are normally requested by the Case Manager or in a Court Order. Screens are completed randomly. Screens are a component of ensuring safe and sober contact of all families visiting at our centers. Parents who do have positive screens are provided with resources for local substance abuse help such as rehabilitation, counseling, and support groups. This is a limited resource and is only offered to families participating in visitation.
Nurturing Parent Parenting Class
Trained Facilitators meet with parents one on one to teach the evidence based Nurturing Parent class. The class is 16 units long and takes from 12-18 weeks to complete if a parent maintains regular attendance. The parent earns a certificate of completion at the end of the class. The classes are generally scheduled to occur at the center either right before or right after visitation so that the parent is able to have their visit and parenting class on the same day so they don't miss work or have to spend extra money on gas having to come to the center twice for separate services. This class emphasizes nurturing skills and covers topics such as age appropriate discipline, developmental stages, increasing empathy, and several other topics designed to increase practical parenting capacity. This is a limited resource and is offered to families participating in visitation only. There is sometimes a waiting list for this service due to program capacity.
Peer Parent Mentoring
Parents that have children in foster care are paired with a Parent Mentor whose children were in foster care in the past and they successfully resolved their issues and regained custody of their children. The Parent Mentor works with parents that are new to the system to help educate, advocate for, and assist the Parent Mentees as they work within the system to regain custody of their children. The insight that the Mentor has to offer is unique and increases the Mentee's support system. Studies show that parents involved in a Peer Parent Mentoring program have a much higher involvement in their case and that often leads to more successful family outcomes. This service is offered to parents who are using our services for supervised visitation.
Parent Aide Services
20 Sessions of intensive one on one parent aide services provided in home and at our centers to individuals that have a Family Preservation or Placement case. A service authorization is required. Assessments are completed and a personalized curriculum is created based on the program requirements and individual needs of the participant. Supplementary sessions may include budgeting, environmental safety, job readiness skills, or other relevant topics helpful to the participant. Participants receive a certificate of completion and the parent aide furnishes notes to the case manager. The case manager may choose the Safe Care Augmented or the Nurturing Parenting curriculum to be used.