2022 Edition

Child and Family Development and Support Services (CA-CFD) 5: Family-Focused Approach to Service

Families receive services that are flexible, accessible, and responsive to their needs and circumstances.

NA The organization provides only parent education groups. 




  Child and Family Development and Support Services promote positive parenting; support children's health and safety; strengthen parent-child relationships; improve family functioning and self-sufficiency; and enhance parental health, well-being, and life course development.
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.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records
  • Observe sites, as appropriate


CA-CFD 5.01

Workers partner with families to establish respectful, trust-based relationships that facilitate productive service delivery.

Examples: Personnel can foster respectful, productive relationships by demonstrating: 

  1. sensitivity to the willingness of the family to be engaged;
  2. a non-threatening manner;
  3. respect for the person’s autonomy and confidentiality;
  4. flexibility; and
  5. persistence.

Examples: One way that a relationship can help facilitate productive service delivery is by helping family members increase their motivation to make positive choices and changes. Strategies for accomplishing this can include, for example: 

  1. helping family members develop a vision of what they want; 
  2. encouraging family members to explore their own reasons for making positive choices and changes; 
  3. helping family members consider the pros and cons of different choices, including any discrepancies between their current situation and their hopes for the future; 
  4. helping family members see how services can help them; 
  5. highlighting past successes and strengths family members can draw upon when trying to change; and 
  6. avoiding argumentative or blaming strategies that might prompt family members to withdraw or become defensive. 


CA-CFD 5.02

In an effort to encourage engagement and promote long-term change, services are, to the extent possible and appropriate:

  1. provided at times acceptable to the family, including times that accommodate the family's schedules and needs;
  2. provided in comfortable places, including home and/or community settings of the family's choosing; and
  3. designed to support and meet the needs of the whole family. 

Examples: Times that accommodate the family’s schedule and needs may include, for example, evenings and weekends, as well as specific times relevant to the educational content addressed (e.g. nap time, bath time). Other factors that can be considered when deciding the times services will be offered include, for example, staff availability, safety, and contractual requirements.


Examples: Different programs may take different approaches to supporting and meeting the needs of the whole family. For example, while one program may be designed to include all family members in each scheduled contact, another program may be designed to include different parties at different times (e.g., involving children in some sessions, but having some sessions focus only on the parent(s)). In some cases, a program may be designed to support and meet the needs of the family as a whole, but only work with parents rather than also including children in services.


Examples: Providing services in the home can be helpful because it can: 

  1. eliminate some logistical barriers to the family’s participation; 
  2. enable the worker to gain a better understanding of the family’s environment; 
  3. allow the worker to address issues in the home; and 
  4. promote skill acquisition and generalization.



CA-CFD 5.03

The content, frequency, intensity, and duration of services are tailored to reflect each family’s strengths, needs, and circumstances, to the extent possible and appropriate based on the type of services offered.


Implementation of this standard will typically be reflected in each family’s service plan. When service provision is guided by a structured curriculum, the organization may implement this standard by adjusting delivery of the curriculum based on families’ unique strengths and needs.

Examples: Different programs may implement this standard in different ways. Some programs, such as home visiting programs for expectant parents and/or parents of very young children, may establish a visit schedule that varies based on the stage of pregnancy and the age of the child, and then adjust that schedule further based on the needs and/or progress of individual families. Other programs may have a standard schedule with less built-in variation (e.g., 90-minute visits, once a week, for 10 weeks), but still adjust visit length, frequency, or duration based on the needs and progress of the families served. Strategies for tailoring content may also vary based on program model and type. For example, while some programs may determine what topics to cover based on their assessment of the family, other programs may be guided by a structured curriculum, but have flexibility in how to deliver that curriculum (e.g., individualizing the time spent on different topics, and/or the order in which topics are addressed, based on a family’s needs).