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Families Together/Building Solutions

Many families with multiple problems come to the attention of the MDHHS, and are in need of consistent and ongoing services, which will enable them to significantly improve family functioning. The Families Together/Building Solutions (FTBS) program is based on the belief that many families can enhance their well-being and improve safety of the children with the assistance of long-term in-home services. These families, while in need of less intensive services, are not threatened with the risk of imminent removal of a child from their homes; yet, if left without services or access to necessary resources, the family could reach a point of crisis serious enough to threaten family stability and lead to an eventual removal.

The FTBS program is short-term (up to 90 days, with an extension up to an additional 90 days), in-home clinical counseling, and includes a solution-focused group treatment option. FTBS is a moderately intensive, solution-focused approach designed to serve families with multiple problems who could benefit from such services.  Department of Human Services is the gateway for acceptance of families for this service, and families may be referred from Children's Protective Services, Foster Care Reunification, Delinquency Services and Prevention.  Program services are voluntary and without regard to family income.  

The FTBS therapist provides a wide range of solution-focused services to the family, based on Insoo Kim Berg's approach.  These services may include:  building a positive family/therapist working relationship by using solution-focused techniques, developing cooperation and defining the problems to be worked on, collaborative goal-setting, enhancing family functioning through the use of feedback and task-building interventions, enhancing appropriate parenting skills, household management skills, communication and conflict resolution skills, and enhancing the use of community resources and linkages with follow-up services when appropriate.  

Program Objectives 

  • Develop structure for the safety of children and all members of the family.
  • Generate solutions to the problems faced by the family.
  • Identify family strengths, assess and help the family develop goals for improving functioning.
  • With the family, to examine alternatives and determine options for working on treatment goals.


  • Ninety percent (90%) of families referred do not have a substantiated abuse and/or neglect complaint during program participation.
  • Ninety percent (90%) of families are satisfied with services at case closure.
  • Ninety percent (90%) of families completing services do not require an out-of-home placement within six (6) months of case closure.
  • Eighty-five percent (85%) of families completing services do not require an out-of-home placement within twelve (12) months of case closure.
  • One hundred percent (100%) of families will exhibit improved family functioning following intervention.
  • One hundred percent (100%) of families will be involved in the design and delivery of ongoing services necessary to improve family functioning.