Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, Milwaukee, WI

Family Interactions

Abstract: Lutheran Social Service’s Family Interaction Program is a multi-dimensional service to families to promote attachment and permanence in a safe and supervised setting. The core philosophy is that family interaction is a process, not a place or single event. This program is not specifically a building or a place to go, but rather a service that occurs in the most natural setting safely available to the individual family. Interactions could occur in a formal location, the library, the foster home, the park, or at the home of the parent(s). The Family Interaction Program is individualized to work around the school schedules of the children, work schedules of the parents, or around Huber privileges in the case of incarceration. Services are provided seven days a week as early as daybreak for newborns, and into the evening for older children with overnight interactions available as families progress to reunification.

In 2004, Lutheran Social Services, Eau Claire County, and the Western Wisconsin Partnership, developed the Family Interaction Program to provide a program to better meet the needs of families with children in out-of-home placement. Over the past six years, Lutheran Social Services has worked closely with multiple County Family Services Units to design and deliver services that embrace the philosophies and practice standards articulated in the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), resulting in the Family Interaction Program. LSS has participated in joint trainings with county providers (provided by the Western Wisconsin Partnership) to implement comprehensive, competency-based service approaches.

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