The passage of the Adoptions and Safe Families Act of 1997, with its focus on child safety and concurrent planning, has presented family preservation workers with new challenges and new opportunities. Twenty volunteers from a large comprehensive social service agency were interviewed to determine their experiences with two models of family preservation—Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and Traditional Family Preservation Service (TFPS) or practice as usual. Workers from both programs were able to articulate values consistent with family preservation as important strengths of the programs— keeping families together and empowering families for example. Information from referring agencies was described as variable and not especially useful when working with seriously troubled families, especially as it related to risk and child safety. Both groups indicated that the jargon of family preservation had permeated their agencies, and that working with other agencies was at times a challenge, though for different reasons. Finally, despite some reservations about the effectiveness of short-term treatment with families that face serious challenges, both groups of workers were generally satisfied with family preservation as an approach to practice.
Maccio, Elain M.; Skiba, David; Doueck, Howard J.; Randolph, Karen A.; Weston, Elisabeth A.; and Anderson, Lorie E.
"Social Workers' Perceptions of Family Preservation Programs,"
Journal of Family Strengths: Vol. 7
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol7/iss1/4