Placement Diversion/Family Reunification Program – Madison County
The Placement Diversion/Family Reunification Program provides comprehensive home-based intervention to families who have children that are at-risk of out-of-home placement or families that have children who have been placed in an institutional level of care. The purpose of the program is to identify and intervene in the patterns of family behavior which may result out-of-home placement and reunite these children with their families. The program provides the necessary services that will support families in preventing re-placement of their children and in maintaining long-term stability.
Services are accessed through Madison County Department of Social Services. Families are then contacted for a pre-admission visit, where the family and the Liberty Resources’ Therapist determine whether this type of service could meet the family’s needs. Because program services are voluntary, parents/guardians choose to continue with the admissions process. The facility where the child is placed, the child’s DSS Caseworker and the child’s previous school are also contacted prior to the family’s admission into the program. The Liberty Resources Therapist makes a formal determination for admission.
Eligibility for program services are based on: 1) the child is currently in the custody of the Madison County Department of Social Services and placed in an institutional level of care; 2) the child has not yet reached their 18th birthday; 3) the child has been adjudicated as a PINS or JD; 4) the family has demonstrated an ability to benefit from services through their level of involvement in their child’s current treatment; and if 6) the child is at risk for re-placement due to either a reoccurrence of the previous circumstances surrounding his/her placement, or not achieving goals set forth in their comprehensive treatment plan.
In 1997, the Madison County Department of Social Services identified as their most difficult population to serve, those children placed in congregate level care (either institutions or group homes). According to this county’s Social Services Commissioner, these children were in placement for a long time and they often returned to care soon after they were discharged
Services offered include:
- Family assessment based of the family’s current resources and strengths;
- Family therapy, based on the family’s goal for reunification;
- Case management, aimed at coordination of service providers and the elimination of the need for a social services caseworker;
- 24-hour crisis services, to provide support whenever it might be needed.
This program utilizes solution-focused and structural family therapy in its treatment approach.
It is our belief within the Family Reunification Program that home is the best place for change within the entire family system to occur. Therefore, it is the mission of this program to provide services to assist families in the transition from feelings of doubt and hopelessness, which a placement often serves to highlight, to feelings of competence and possibility in the child’s return home. This program provides opportunities for families to experiment in how to do things differently. Completion of this process will not be when a family has solved every problem, but rather when they have sufficient practice to help them feel confident about taking on the day-to-day challenges in their home.