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Course Description

Family-Centered Services is a continuum of services that employ the family-centered practice approach to promote the primary goals of child welfare: safety, permanency, and well-being. A family-centered practice approach is a way of organizing and delivering assistance and support to families based on interconnected beliefs and attitudes that shape the program philosophy and behavior of personnel as they organize and deliver services to children and families. Family-centered service is an approach to service delivery that grew out of family preservation attempts in the mid-seventies to prevent out-of-home placements of minors. Since then, family-centered services has expanded from a particular type of service to an overall philosophy for the delivery of services to families. FCS currently includes a wide range of programs from family support prevention services to family preservation, for families who are dealing with extremely difficult situations. Family support is largely a preventative service that focuses on promoting healthy family relationships and child development. A family support model may include programs such as peer support groups, Head Start, parent training, and home visitation. Family preservation, on the other hand, is more concerned with preventing family breakdown when serious problems arise by providing more intensive services that help families resolve specific issues (Fuller & Wells, 2000). While there are several similar, yet differing, definitions of family-centered services that exist in fields such as social services, child welfare, mental health, and early childhood special education, there is consensus on the principles and values that characterize family-centered services. Descriptors such as ?strengths-based, consumer driven, family systems, partnerships, empowerment, enhancement, interdependence, proactive, and collaborative relationships? are all found in many of these definitions (Pletcher & McBride, 2003). For the purpose of this class, we will use the terms Family-Centered Services and Family-Centered Practice interchangeably, to refer to a way of working with families across service systems to enhance their capacity to care for and protect their children, and strengthen their ability to manage their own lives. Family-centered services focus on the needs and welfare of children within the context of their families and communities. These services are accessible and individualized, and are available to families that may not initially seek services. Family-centered service providers reach out to families, conveying the message that all families can benefit from support, and that families can learn from one another. Family-centered practice recognizes the strengths of family relationships and builds on these strengths to achieve optimal outcomes. Family is defined broadly to include birth, blended, kinship, and foster and adoptive families. Family-centered practice includes a range o
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Section Title
EC: Famliy-Centered Services
Section Schedule
Date and Time TBA
Course Fee(s)
TP0003 credit (2 units) $319.00
Available for Credit
2 units
Reading List / Textbook
Early Childhood: Family-Centered Services
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