Indiana Juvenile Justice Task Force, Inc.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Raising Awareness. Restoring Hope. Making a Difference.

Family Support Services Program


The Family Support Services Program is an intensive psychotherapeutic, home based treatment protocol designed as a DIVERSIONARY alternative to out of home placement for juvenile offenders, other at-risk populations, and their families. We embrace the treatment concept of implementing the least restrictive environment as the intervention domain of choice, and building upon existing child and family strengths to overcome non productive areas in their lives. A core component of all treatment programming is the instillation of hope and dignity, and being a voice to advocate for the family. More importantly, a core principle we hold is a commitment to teaching and coaching our client families to advocate directly for themselves.

We believe that kids belong with their families, and as such provide a treatment protocol that allows the child and family to receive intensive clinical services right in their own home, natural community, school, and neighborhood environment. While the child is the entry point for case referral from the Juvenile Court, the entire family unit is the targeted audience. Many of our client families have received a variety of mandated services prior to being referred to our treatment program. As a result, we pride ourselves on implementing creative and unusual approaches to treatment interventions.
The Family Support Services Program is an evidence based multi systems family therapy program, similar in scope to the national best practices model of such. We focus not only on the referred child, but on the parental adults and siblings. The age of the population we serve ranges from ten to eighteen. The average length of the program is six months, but is driven by the highly individualized assessment and treatment planning process. Each family has its own unique gift of transformation, and goals are thus achieved at their own pace. We place an emphasis on client respect, and allow them the freedom to learn and grow in a way best for them. We also match this approach with doses of reality, firmness, and an emphasis on choice making and learning responsibility.   We expect mistakes, and they are responded to in a manner to enhance cooperation instead of denial and blame. We teach problem solving and solution focused skills that encourage ownership for their behavior, and a willingness to enhance their abilities for future life choice points.
The Family Counselor maintains a small case load in order to meet with the family several times per week to clarify, coach, and support them in their growth and change process. This also allows the Family Counselor to engage in case management type issues that are presenting problematic barriers to the targeted therapy process. A wraparound approach is emphasized, and resources and collaborative others are asked to partner with us in eradicating or solving these situations.
In addition to our diversionary efforts to maintain children in the home, at times a more restrictive treatment placement is indeed clinically warranted to maximize success. With this in mind, we also provide a full cadre of REENTRYprogramming, focusing on the family at home while the child is removed and maintaining close collaborative contact with the placement agency. Our goal is to actively work toward reducing the time the child spends away from home and ensure that family change has taken place in their absence. We assist in then successfully transitioning the child back home, and supporting the integration of family and child change into practical day to day living and coping once they are reunited as a family.
Referrals for the Family Support Services Program come directly from the Juvenile Court, as recommended by either the Juvenile Probation Office or the Department of Child Services. We have served families in fifteen counties, varying in nature from very rural to very urban. Currently, we are serving children and families in Elkhart, Lake, Marion, Madison, Allen, Tippecanoe, Boone, and Randolph County. 


In 2008, 400 children and families recieved services through the Family Support Services Program!