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Prevention and Family Preservation Services
MDHHS and partners support a continuum of prevention services. The continuum is inclusive of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention activities.
|Primary Prevention activities are directed at the general population and attempt to stop abuse or neglect before it occurs and prevent the need for involvement with child welfare.
|Secondary Prevention activities are to prevent abuse or neglect before it occurs and prevent the need for initial or deeper involvement with child welfare.|
Tertiary Prevention consists of activities focused on families that have a confirmed abuse or neglect investigation to prevent recurrence of abuse or neglect and re-entry into the child welfare system.
Many of the services we offer at MDHHS fluctuate between the different prevention types. Below, we’ve classified them within their most common type, such as FFPSA services in secondary, family preservation services in tertiary, and so on. Use the expansion functionality to read overviews of many of the services we offer at MDHHS.
Tertiary prevention consists of activities focused on families that have a confirmed abuse or neglect investigation to prevent recurrence of abuse or neglect and re-entry into the child welfare system. These prevention programs may include services such as:
- family preservation activities designed to strengthen families who are in crisis
- parent mentor programs acting as peer support to families in crisis
- in-home mental health services for children and families to improve family communication and functioning
The following is an overview of the different tertiary prevention services available in Michigan:
Families First of Michigan (FFM) is a state-wide, 28-day crisis intervention program that mitigates abuse/neglect concerns through intensive services including Cognitive-Behavioral intervention, Solution-Focused Brief Intervention, skill building, community resource networking, assistance with concrete needs, and use of Protective Factors Framework® and the Protective Factors Survey-2 to identify risk and build upon family strengths.
High to intensive risk families with a confirmed case of abuse or neglect may be referred to FFM if it appears a petition is inevitable at some point if the family does not receive intensive stabilization services. In-home court wards may also be referred to FFM. FFM also provides reunification services if Family Reunification Program is not available.
FFM provides an average of 10 hours of face-to-face contact with families in their homes and communities. Each family receives four weeks of services with up to two additional weeks provided for some families to firm up goal completion.
Family Reunification Program (FRP)
Family Reunification Program (FRP) is available in several counties and provides services to families preparing for reunification or families where the children have recently returned home.
FRP may be provided up to 30 days prior to reunification or within 30 days following reunification. Each family receives up to four months of service with up to two additional months of service to complete time-consuming goals or address new safety/risk concerns.
FRP services include a Team Leader who provides therapeutic activities and a Family Worker who utilize skill building, and community resource navigation. Solution-Focused Brief Intervention, Protective Factors Framework and Protective Factors Survey are employed by both workers.
Families Together Building Solutions – Pathways to Potential (FTBS-P2P)
Families Together Building Solutions – Pathways to Potential (FTBS-P2P) is available in several counties and provides services to families with low to moderate risk for abuse or neglect. FTBS may be appropriate for higher risk cases if approved by the family preservation specialist. FTBS is sometimes used as a step-down program after families complete FFM and need less intensive services to avoid future CPS involvement.
FTBS provides an average of three hours of face-to-face service per week, for up to three months. Families who need additional help may be approved for up to three additional months of service if goal completion is time consuming, or new risk/safety related goals are identified. FTBS may be used for reunification services if FFM, and FRP are not available.
FTBS uses tools and interventions including Solution-Focused Brief Intervention, skill building, and community resource navigation as well as Protective Factors Framework and Protective Factors Survey.
Substance Use Disorder Family Support Program (SUDFSP)
Substance Use Disorder Family Support Program is an in-home program that provides skill-based intervention and support for families when a parent is alcohol or drug affected or has been found to have a co-occurring disorder. SUDFSP seeks to reduce future maltreatment and prevent unnecessary placement in foster care.
MDHHS offers two versions of the SUDFSP program:
- Utilizing standard contract program requirements, families must meet eligibility listed in the contract
- SUDFSP with Motivational Interviewing
- Funded through FFPSA, families must have FFPSA eligible children in the home
- Use of Motivational Interviewing helps participants identify their reasons and goals of change in behaviors and reinforce that change is possible.
- Face to Face duration of this program is built on a tapered schedule, beginning with three to four hours per week for the first 60 days, two hours per week for the next 60 days, and one hour per week for the final 60 days.
- This program is six months long to support the positive reinforcements of change.
Parent Partners (PP) is available in Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Genesee, and Washtenaw counties.
PP employs carefully vetted paraprofessionals who successfully achieved reunification with their children through foster care. Although primarily a reunification service, PP recently expanded to provide parent mentoring services to parents involved in the CPS system. Each family receives at least an hour of face-to-face contact in their homes and communities and services last up to six months with an additional six months of services upon approval.
Parent Partners cannot provide direct services to children, but they do provide a plethora of services to adult caregivers including, community resource navigation, social support networking, foster care/CPS system navigation, and skill building.
Secondary prevention activities are to prevent abuse or neglect before it occurs and prevent the need for initial or deeper involvement with child welfare. Populations include those that have one or more risk factors associated with abuse or neglect, such as but not limited to low-income families, caregiver substance use, domestic violence, young parental age, parental mental health concerns, parental or child special needs, and MDHHS Structured Decision Making Risk Assessment identifies a future risk of harm. Programs may target services to caregivers or families that have a high incidence of any or all these risk factors. Approaches to secondary prevention programs might include:
- education programs for teen parents or substance use treatment programs targeted to caregivers with young children
- support groups that help at-risk caregivers deal with their everyday stresses and meet the challenges and responsibilities of parenting
- home visiting programs that provide support and assistance
- in-home Family Support Services, Family Assistance Programs, etcetera
- respite care for families that have children with special needs.
- family resource centers that offer information and referral services to at-risk families.
The following is an overview of some of the different secondary prevention services available in Michigan:
SafeCare is an in-home, behavioral parenting program that promotes positive parent-child interactions, informed caregiver response to childhood illness and injury, and a safe home environment. SafeCare is designed for parents and caregivers of children birth through five who are either at risk for or have a history of child neglect and/or physical abuse. The program aims to reduce child abuse/neglect. The SafeCare curriculum is extremely structured, with pre-planned lessons and assessments. The curriculum is delivered by trained and certified providers.
The curriculum includes three modules:
- The home safety module targets risk factors for environmental neglect and unintentional injury by helping parents/caregivers identify and eliminate common household hazards and teaching them about age-appropriate supervision.
- The health module targets risk factors for medical neglect by teaching parents/caregivers how to identify and address illness, injury, and health generally.
- The parent-child/parent-infant interaction module targets risk factors associated with neglect and physical abuse by teaching parents/caregivers how to positively interact with their infant/child, and how to structure activities to engage their children and promote positive behavior.
Face to Face Requirements and Program Duration:
- Each session typically lasts 50 to 90 minutes depending on the session focus. Sessions are typically conducted weekly and scheduled when assessment and training is most applicable (e.g., nap time, bath time).
- SafeCare delivery is no more than twice a week and no less than every two weeks to optimize skill acquisition and retention.
Motivational Interviewing is an evidence-based, client-centered method designed to promote behavior change and improve physiological, psychological, and lifestyle outcomes. Motivational Interviewing aims to identify ambivalence for change and increase motivation by helping clients progress through the stages of change. It aims to do this by encouraging clients to consider their personal goals and how their current behaviors may compete with attainment of those goals.
MI has been shown to be an effective intervention when used by itself or together with a combination of other treatments to reduce risk of maltreatment and placement into out of home care.
MDHHS child welfare staff, PAFC child welfare staff, and some Family Preservation contractors are trained and utilizing Motivational Interviewing as part of their day-to-day service array and MiTEAM Practice Model.
Family Spirit is an in-home parenting skills program specifically designed by and for Native American families, serving pregnant individuals and families with children younger than the age of 5. With the goal of supporting the health of families and building strong and healthy parents, this program will provide a variety of services to eligible families including frequent home visits, parenting education, health education, and additional support in general. It is noted that Family Spirit is not intended to be a reunification service or coordination/general participation in parental visitation.
Family Spirit providers will:
- Perform screening/assessments to identify conditions that could affect pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.
- Perform screenings/assessments for infants/children to identify growth/development concerns.
- Provide health/parenting education regarding pregnancy, infant, and toddler care.
- Provide/make referrals for emotional and nutritional support or for other services as necessary.
- Provide or arrange for childbirth education.
- Report any concerns of abuse/neglect, as home visitors are mandated reporters.
- Assist with arranging transportation services for health appointments as needed.
Face to Face Requirements and Program Duration:
- Visits range from weekly to monthly, depending on the needs of the family and the age of the child.
- Visits generally last 45-90 minutes
Evidence Based Home Visiting
FFPSA has allowed MDHHS & the Home Visiting Unit to expand home visiting services across the state, including programs Parents As Teachers (PAT), Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP), and Healthy Families America (HFA).
We have also expanded programs utilizing Healthy Moms Healthy Babies funding. These expansions service families with substance affected infants and/or pregnant people with substance misuse.
To locate all home visiting programs across the state, including these expansions, please visit the Michigan Home Visiting website:
Index - Michigan Home Visiting Programs (mihomevisiting.com)
Primary prevention activities are directed at the general population and attempt to stop abuse or neglect before it occurs and prevent the need for involvement with child welfare. All members of the community have access to and may benefit from these services. Primary prevention activities with a universal focus seek to raise the awareness of the general public, service providers, and decision-makers about the scope and problems associated with child abuse or neglect. Universal approaches to primary prevention might include:
- public service announcements that encourage positive parenting
- parent education programs and support groups that focus on child development, age-appropriate expectations, and the roles and responsibilities of parenting
- family support and family strengthening programs that enhance the ability of families to access existing services, and resources to support positive interactions among family members
- public awareness campaigns that provide information on how and where to report suspected child abuse and neglect
The following is an overview of some of the different primary prevention services available in Michigan:
Connections to resources are available on MiBridges – log in to your account and select Find Resources to search by topic.
Early On® Michigan
Children’s Trust Michigan
Children’s Trust Michigan
Kinship Care Resource Center
About the Kinship Care Resource Center | Kinship Care Resource Center (msu.edu)
Pathways to Potential
Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)
Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) is a federal legislation to allow title IV-E spending in secondary and primary prevention services. Michigan’s 5-year Prevention Plan was approved with a begin date of 10/01/2021. The federal funding offers reimbursement to the state for Evidence Based Programs.
Prevention & Family Preservation Services – Forms & Applications
Family Preservation Redesign
MiFlex is a developing, hybrid family preservation service model that will replace the current, fragmented, central office administered family preservation service array by 2027. MiFlex will have broader eligibility and flexibility to serve families as their needs change including prevention, preservation, and reunification services of any intensity of need, under one program. Families participating in MiFlex will work with one team and one service provider to address abuse or neglect concerns instead of referrals to multiple programs and/or service providers as their needs change. Other advantages of MiFlex include:
- Face-to-face contact time and length of participation will be determined by accomplishing goals, worker/supervisor evaluation, and assessment tools.
- Implementation of the 2Gen service philosophy will help ensure a strong family voice with more equitable and holistic services centered around the individual strengths and needs of parents and children.
- The mental health services gap experienced by many families will be narrowed by incorporating evidence-based virtual therapy services
- Tapping multiple funding sources will allow MiFlex to reach more families
- Continuing the use of Protective Factors Framework and Protective Factors Survey will help workers and families develop relevant and effective goals.
- An easier, streamlined referral process where Prevention, CPS and foster care workers will only need to make one referral to one program without having to determine eligibility based on intensity of need.
MiFamily, Stronger Together Newsletters & Live Events
Michigan families are stronger when supported with the intent of staying intact.
MiFamily, Stronger Together is the open communication and collaboration within MDHHS structures (including private and external partners) to establish and maintain a prevention-oriented child and family well-being system. A comprehensive child and family well-being system aims to strengthen all families, connecting them to resources and support they need within their own community. Support that can prevent crisis, mitigate risks, and prevent child abuse and neglect.
MiFamily, Stronger Together Presents
- How do you use MiTEAM practices in day-to-day work? (March 2023) (YouTube, 7m18s)
- How do you impact service delivery to families to prevent maltreatment and removal? (August 2022) (YouTube, 2m42s)
MiFamily, Stronger Together Live Events
2023 Live Events
2022 Live Events
- December 2022 Recording
- December 2022 Slide Deck
- October 2022 Recording
- October 2022 Slide Deck
- April 2022 Recording
- April 2022 Slide Deck
MiFamily, Stronger Together Newsletters