2022 Edition

Family Preservation and Stabilization Services (CA-FPS) 6: Family Supports, Services, and Interventions

Families receive a range of supports, services, and interventions that help them resolve pressing issues and prevent future crises.




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 referring individuals to services
  • Community resource and referral list
  • Educational/informational materials
  • Coverage schedule for 24-hour crisis intervention services for the past six months
  • Contracts or service agreements with community providers, including crisis intervention providers, if applicable
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Families served
  • Review case records


CA-FPS 6.01

Early sessions are designed to help family members:
  1. develop a shared view of the issues that precipitated the need for service, including an understanding of the factors and patterns that lead to the identified issues;
  2. take responsibility for the role they may play in contributing to the identified issues, as appropriate; and
  3. increase their motivation to make positive changes.
Examples: Personnel can help motivate family members to make positive changes by, for example:
  1. reducing negativity and blame within the family;
  2. encouraging family members to discuss their own reasons for wanting change;
  3. helping family members examine the consequences of the issues they face, including any discrepancies between the current situation and their hopes for the future;
  4. avoiding argumentative or blaming strategies that might prompt family members to become defensive or withdraw from the process;
  5. helping family members see how services can help them;
  6. evoking rationales for change that make sense to family members; and
  7. highlighting past successes and strengths family members can draw upon when trying to change.


CA-FPS 6.02

Family members are helped to develop the competencies needed to improve their family’s relationships and functioning, including, as appropriate:
  1. communicating in a healthy and effective manner;
  2. solving problems effectively;
  3. managing conflicts;
  4. coping with adversity, stress, and emotions;
  5. maintaining and strengthening interpersonal relationships;
  6. accessing needed services and support;
  7. managing a household;
  8. understanding child/youth development, including what is appropriate for different ages and developmental levels;
  9. parenting in a sensitive and responsive manner designed to provide protection, meet basic needs, foster emotional security, and promote positive interactions, as appropriate to children's ages and developmental levels;
  10. establishing appropriate roles and interpersonal boundaries; and
  11. implementing age-appropriate techniques for providing supervision, setting limits, and managing behavior, including negative or maladaptive behaviors. 


 Although the topics addressed with individual families will vary based on their particular circumstances and the specific issues that precipitated their need for service, personnel should be prepared to help family members develop competencies in all the listed areas.


CA-FPS 6.03

Personnel help family members develop and hone new competencies through:
  1. instruction and discussion about the topics and practices being targeted, why they are important, and their relevance to the family;
  2. modeling of the skills and strategies being targeted;
  3. within-session practice that enables family members to use new skills and strategies with the worker present to intervene in the moment with coaching, positive reinforcement, or corrective feedback, as needed;
  4. follow-up tasks that call for practice outside of the session; and
  5. support in planning how to use skills and strategies in different situations, how to manage setbacks, and how to avoid future crises.


CA-FPS 6.04

Family members are helped to obtain items, supports, and services that can help them meet basic needs, stabilize the family, and prevent the need for out-of-home care, including: 
  1. food;
  2. clothing;
  3. housing;
  4. transportation;
  5. child care; 
  6. financial assistance;
  7. assistance with household tasks;
  8. respite care;
  9. medical care;
  10. behavioural health care, when the services needed exceed those provided by the program;
  11. domestic violence services;
  12. legal services;
  13. education and employment services; and
  14. educational and recreational activities for children.
Examples: Some types of assistance may be provided directly by personnel, while other types may be provided through connection to outside resources or providers. For example, personnel might initially help with transportation by driving a family member to an appointment, but ultimately link the family to another resource that can be useful in the long-term (e.g., financial assistance to obtain a bus pass).  Similarly, some supports might be necessary only temporarily (e.g., help cleaning the house while family members develop the competencies needed to manage the home on their own), while others may be necessary for the long-term (e.g., child care and medical care).

Providing this type of assistance can also help families in ways that extend beyond the meeting of the basic needs themselves. For example, families may be more likely to trust a worker who helps them meet their basic needs, and may be more capable of participating actively in education and counseling when their basic needs are met.


CA-FPS 6.05

In an effort to encourage the development of strong and healthy networks that can provide long-term support, the organization helps family members to:
  1. develop plans for managing any negative influences in their social support networks; 
  2. consider how they can expand their social support networks, as necessary; and
  3. plan how to use their social support networks to help maintain positive changes after services end.
Examples: In some cases helping family members strengthen their interpersonal skills, as addressed in CA-FPS 6.02, may support the development and maintenance of their social support networks. It may also be helpful for families to consider how to incorporate both give and take into their social relationships, since relationships will be more likely to endure if they are mutually satisfying and beneficial.  


CA-FPS 6.06

When family members have experienced trauma, services maximize the survivor’s sense of safety and are designed to help the family:
  1. understand how the trauma may impact current functioning;
  2. identify, anticipate, and manage responses to trauma reminders; and
  3. appropriately support the survivor’s recovery.

Fundamental Practice

CA-FPS 6.07

To ensure that families receive help when they need it, crisis intervention services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, either directly or through a contracted on-call provider.


If an organization providing intensive family preservation and stabilization services uses an on-call provider when its staff are not available to provide services directly, a contract or service agreement with the on-call provider should: (1) indicate the organization’s approach to service, (2) require experience with family preservation and stabilization services, (3) provide a means for sharing information about families’ specific issues or any other critical information, and (4) outline expectations and timelines for communication between the on-call provider and the organization (e.g., the on-call provider should contact the organization within one hour of a call for crisis assistance).