Standards for private organizations

2020 Edition

Family Preservation and Stabilization Services (FPS) 2: Personnel

Program personnel have the competency and support needed to provide services and meet the needs of families.

Interpretation

Competency can be demonstrated through education, training, or experience. Support can be provided through supervision or other learning activities to improve understanding or skill development in specific areas.
2020 Edition

Currently viewing: FAMILY PRESERVATION AND STABILIZATION SERVICES (FPS)

VIEW THE STANDARDS

Purpose

Family Preservation and Stabilization Services improve family functioning, increase child and family well-being, ensure child safety, reduce the need for CPS intervention, prevent the separation of children from their families, and ease the transition to reunification following a separation. 
1
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
2
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,  
  • With some exceptions, staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc., but the integrity of the service is not compromised; or
  • Supervisors provide additional support and oversight, as needed, to the few staff without the listed qualifications; or 
  • Most staff who do not meet educational requirements are seeking to obtain them; or 
  • With few exceptions, staff have received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training curricula are not fully developed or lack depth; or
  • Training documentation is consistently maintained and kept up-to-date with some exceptions; or
  • A substantial number of supervisors meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization provides training and/or consultation to improve competencies when needed; or
  • With few exceptions, caseload sizes are consistently maintained as required by the standards or as required by internal policy when caseload has not been set by a standard; or
  • Workloads are such that staff can effectively accomplish their assigned tasks and provide quality services and are adjusted as necessary; or
  • Specialized services are obtained as required by the standards.
3
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.  Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • A significant number of staff (direct service providers, supervisors, and program managers) do not possess the required qualifications, including education, experience, training, skills, temperament, etc.; and as a result, the integrity of the service may be compromised; or
  • Job descriptions typically do not reflect the requirements of the standards, and/or hiring practices do not document efforts to hire staff with required qualifications when vacancies occur; or 
  • Supervisors do not typically provide additional support and oversight to staff without the listed qualifications; or
  • A significant number of staff have not received required training, including applicable specialized training; or
  • Training documentation is poorly maintained; or
  • A significant number of supervisors do not meet the requirements of the standard, and the organization makes little effort to provide training and/or consultation to improve competencies; or
  • There are numerous instances where caseload sizes exceed the standards' requirements or the requirements of internal policy when a caseload size is not set by the standard; or
  • Workloads are excessive, and the integrity of the service may be compromised; or 
  • Specialized staff are typically not retained as required and/or many do not possess the required qualifications; or
  • Specialized services are infrequently obtained as required by the standards.
4
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Table of contents of training curricula
  • Procedures or other documentation relevant to continuity of care and case assignment
  • Sample job descriptions from across relevant job categories
  • Documentation tracking staff completion of required trainings and/or competencies
  • Training curricula
  • Caseload size requirements set by policy, regulation, or contract, when applicable
  • Documentation of current caseload size per worker
  • Supervisory schedule for 24-hour coverage for the past six months
  • Documentation demonstrating that the organization ensures adequate staff coverage (e.g., staff coverage schedule for the past six months)
  • Documentation demonstrating that the organization provides the flexibility and support needed to ensure adequate staff coverage (e.g., personnel policy regarding flex time)

 

  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
  • Review personnel files

 

FPS 2.01

Direct service personnel are qualified by:
  1. an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field; or
  2. a bachelor’s degree in social work or a comparable human service field and at least two years’ experience working with children and families.

 

FPS 2.02

When personnel providing support services work directly with families, they are qualified by:
  1. skills relevant to, and experience working with, children and families; or
  2. available licensing, registration, or certification.

Interpretation

Support services personnel must be appropriately qualified and trained according to their level of interaction with service recipients.
NA Support services personnel do not work directly with families served.
Examples: Support services personnel may work directly with families by, for example, helping families gain access to resources that meet basic needs (e.g., transportation services, food and clothing distribution), and/or supporting direct service personnel to meet the goals outlined in the family’s service plan (e.g., assisting direct service personnel with in-home activities).

 

FPS 2.03

Supervisors are qualified by an advanced degree in social work or a comparable human service field and two years of post-master's degree experience working with children and families, preferably in family preservation and stabilization.

 

FPS 2.04

All direct service personnel are trained on, or demonstrate competency in:
  1. understanding child, adult, and family functioning;
  2. identifying strengths and protective factors;
  3. assessing needs, risks, and safety;
  4. identifying environmental factors that impact families;
  5. empowering, supporting, and mentoring families as they manage their homes, parent their children, and use community resources; and
  6. intervening in stressful and crisis situations.

 
Fundamental Practice

FPS 2.05

Workers and supervisors are trained on or demonstrate competency in relevant provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), including:
  1. the importance of ICWA and special considerations for working with American Indian and Alaska Native children and families, including the cultural norms and historical trauma associated with Indian tribes;
  2. the identification of American Indian and Alaska Native children and families;
  3. appropriate notice and collaboration with the tribe; and
  4. active efforts requirements to prevent separation or reunify families.

Interpretation

All family preservation personnel should be trained in the basic requirements of ICWA, and additional training should be provided to staff in specialized service units, such as screening/intake. All screening/intake personnel must receive more in-depth training on how to identify children and families with American Indian or Alaska Native heritage.

 

FPS 2.06

The organization maintains service continuity for children and families by:
  1. using a service delivery model that calls for services to be provided by a single worker, or by a consistent team of workers; 
  2. assigning a worker at intake or early in the contact; and 
  3. avoiding the arbitrary or indiscriminate reassignment of direct service personnel.

 
Fundamental Practice

FPS 2.07

Caseloads support the achievement of client outcomes, are regularly reviewed, and generally do not exceed:
  1. 12-18 families when providing family preservation and stabilization services; and
  2. 2-6 families when providing intensive family preservation and stabilization services.

Interpretation

There are circumstances under which caseloads may exceed these limits. For example, caseloads may be higher when organizations are faced with temporary vacancies on staff, or if administrative case functions (e.g., entering notes, filing, etc.) are assigned to other personnel. New personnel should not carry independent caseloads prior to the completion of training.
Examples: Factors that may be considered when determining caseloads include, but are not limited to:
  1. the qualifications, competencies, and experience of the worker, including the level of supervision needed;
  2. whether services are provided by multiple professionals or team members;
  3. case complexity and circumstances, including the intensity of child and family needs, the size of the family, travel time, and the goal of the case;
  4. case status, including progress toward achievement of desired outcomes;
  5. the work and time required to accomplish assigned tasks, including those associated with caseloads and other job responsibilities; and
  6. service volume.

 
Fundamental Practice

FPS 2.08

Supervisory personnel familiar with the needs of families served are available to direct service personnel by telephone 24 hours a day.

 

FPS 2.09

In an effort to guarantee that service delivery hours will be adapted to the availability and needs of families served, the program ensures:
  1. sufficient staff coverage at all times;
  2. work schedules are flexible; and
  3. supports are in place to prevent burnout.