Child Welfare League of America Making Children a National Priority

 

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Home > Practice Areas > Family Preservation and Permanency Planning > About the Program

 
 

Family Support Services

Family Support Services (FSS) were developed to respond to the concerns, interests, and needs of families within a community. FSS are "community-based services to promote the well-being of children and families, designed to increase the strength and stability of families (including adoptive, foster, and extended families), to increase parents' confidence and competence in their parenting abilities, to afford children a stable and supportive family environment, and otherwise to enhance child development" (1993 OBRA provisions, P.L. 10366). Family Support Services are targeted to families within a community with potential difficulties and concerns related to the proper functioning of the family and care of the children. The focus of the program is on prevention. The services address the need to improve the well-being of a child, family functioning, and the parent's ability to provide for the family, before they are in crisis. In order to reach families in need of assistance, family support programs work with outside community organizations such as schools, Head Start programs, and child welfare agencies. The aim is to provide temporary relief to families by teaching them how to better nurture their children. Involvement in these services is voluntary. Types of services include parent education, child care relief, and self-help groups.


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