2022 Edition

Family Preservation and Stabilization Services (CA-FPS) 5: Family-Focused Approach to Service Delivery

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




Family Preservation and Stabilization Services strengthen parental capacity, improve family relationships and functioning, increase child and family well-being, ensure child safety, prevent the separation of children from their families, promote successful reunification following a separation, and prevent future crises. 
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
  • Procedures for determining service frequency, intensity, and duration, and accommodating the unique needs of the family
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Families served
  • Review case records


CA-FPS 5.01

Services are of limited duration and content is:
  1. focused on resolving the pressing issues that precipitated the need for service; and
  2. tailored to meet the families' unique needs and characteristics.


Services will be primarily focused on addressing the pressing issues that precipitated the need for service.  However, if family members wish to work on other goals that are not directly related to those issues, the organization may partner with them to do so in an effort to demonstrate respect for family members’ voices and priorities, and promote service participation and success.

Services can be extended if families are not ready for them to end, but the organization should document and justify in the case record any extension of service beyond the established limit.


CA-FPS 5.02

Service frequency and intensity is based on family needs and the level of concern for child and/or family safety, as determined through initial and ongoing assessments.
Examples: Intensive services may be provided as often as three to five times per week, for as many as six to 15 hours per week, with additional phone contact occurring between in-person meetings. Lower intensity services may be provided less often, for example, once per week. Some organizations may decrease the frequency and intensity of services as time goes on, in an effort to encourage self-sufficiency as the intervention draws to a close.


CA-FPS 5.03

In an effort to engage all family members and support long-term change, services are:
  1. provided in home and community settings that enable families to address problems and learn skills in natural environments;
  2. focused on the family as a whole and designed to involve all family members, including children, youth, and adults, as well as extended family or other supportive individuals, to the maximum extent possible and appropriate; and
  3. provided at times that accommodate family members' schedules and needs.
Examples: Times that accommodate family members’ schedules may include, for example, evenings and weekends.  Times that accommodate family members’ needs may include other days and times that family members identify as challenging and need support navigating (e.g., meal time, nap time, vacation days).