Forever Families Premise

 

The Forever Families Program (FFP) for Child Abuse Prevention premise:

Abuse, neglect and negative childhood experiences can be prevented!
Families can be permanent, safe, effective support for their children.

“Entrainment” is a simple natural basis for transferring positive aptitudes and behavior from one person to another.  Seven Critical aptitudes are transferred: positive community relationships, value of the family, developmental capability, trust, empowering one’s self and family, hope, and meaning of one’s life.

“The Forever Families Program” is a member of the National Exchange Club (NEC) project for the prevention of child abuse and the Fostering Hope Initiative (FHI).

The NEC with 79 centers and over 100 sites is one of the U.S.’s largest and oldest parent aide programs.  Following national standards of operation, training, supervision, documentation, and closure procedures provides effective programming.

The FHI is a place based collective impact initiative that promotes optimum child and youth development by supporting vulnerable families, encouraging connections between neighbors, strengthening collaboration, intentionally pursuing quality and accountability, and advocating for family friendly public policy.

The Fostering Hope Initiative is one of 12 sites invited to membership in Frontiers of Innovation, and is one of four projects in the nation selected for funding by the Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood, USDHHS.

Encouraging “The Five Protective Factors” of parental resilience, social connections, concrete support for parents, knowledge of parenting and child development and social & emotional competence of children, the Forever Families program assists parents through specially prepared, professionally supervised parent aides.

Screened parent aides are extensively interviewed, references and criminal records are checked and each aide goes through 20 hours of initial training.  A professional staff matches one aide with one family considering all cultural, learning style, and developmental differences.  On call staff provides parent aides with a 24 hour a day backup.

If needed, parent aides receive two hours of training monthly.  The parent aide’s 2-4 hours weekly parent contact is family-centered.  Parent aides build trust with the parents.  They become “just like family members” with good relationships.  Parents with this support resolve issues of budgeting, homelessness, isolation, lack of parenting skills, stress, and community alienation.  Many of these parents never had an opportunity to discover and develop their strengths.  Fear and hopelessness control their lives.  They cannot give their children what they do not have.  Thus, with the emphasis on trust, hope and meaning, followed up with the ability to make decisions that benefit the family, parents gain those attributes.

The program assists families having difficulty using other programs.  In home services solves transportation and childcare problems.  Parent aides help families connect with other services.  They help families apply these services thru simple actions in the home.  The model effectively reaches isolated parents of undeveloped skills frustrated by daily parental stresses.  Measurable levels of stability, improved parenting, and safe environments mark “achievement” for children. A significant result of the Forever Families program is the reduction of children in foster care.

A key addition allows parents to be referred to the FFP with children that have special needs, such as Mental retardation, Ausburgers Syndrome and Autism.  Many families succumb to the emotional and physical stresses, that caring for and supporting, a challenged child brings.  Many marriages end in divorce.  The goal is to provide support and counseling information to help parents deal with the emotional issues and provide the skills they need to properly care for the child.  Also to direct the family to respite care resources, giving the needed relief to the parents from the day to day burden.  This effort strengthens relationships and lessens the emotional burden which reduces the risk for abuse and keeps more families together. There by reducing the need for “Foster Care” and keeping children where they belong, within a family setting!