Family Centered Services

Focused on Keeping Families Together

CFI’s Family-Centered Services (FCS) team builds and maintains safe, healthy families. CFI provides FCS through a contract with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Families are typically referred for FCS services through a child abuse assessment, juvenile court order, or as caregivers voluntarily contact HHS for assistance.

FCS services include:

Evidence-based approaches such as Solution-based Casework, Motivational Interviewing, and SafeCare. FCS staff also provide Family Preservation, Solution-Focused Meeting facilitation, and Kinship Navigation services.

Solution Based Case Work

SBC is an evidence-based case management approach to assessment, case planning, and ongoing casework. The approach helps the caseworker focus on the family to support the children’s safety and well-being. The goal is to work in partnership with the family to help identify their strengths, focus on everyday life events, and help them build the skills necessary to manage situations that are difficult for them. This approach targets specific everyday events in the life of a family that have caused the family difficulty and represents a situation in which at least one family member cannot reliably maintain the behavior that the family needs to accomplish its goals. The model combines the best of the problem-focused relapse prevention approaches that evolved from work with addiction, violence, and helplessness with solution-focused models that evolved from family systems casework and therapy.

Family Preservation

Family Preservation Services (FPS) are short-term, intensive, home-based crisis interventions targeted to families with children at imminent risk of removal and placement into foster care. FPS combines skill-based interventions and flexibility based on each family’s unique needs. The goal of FPS is to offer families in crisis the ability to remain together safely, avoiding out-of-home placement of children whenever possible. Services are focused on assisting in crisis management, restoring the family to a minimally adequate level of functioning, and building support within their community so they can remain safely together.

Safe Care

SafeCare is an evidence-based behavioral parenting model shown to prevent and reduce child maltreatment and improve health, development, and welfare of children ages zero to five in at-risk families. SafeCare is a home visitation-based parent training program conducted over 18 sessions. Parents who are at-risk for neglect are taught how to have positive parent-child and parent-infant interactions, keep homes safe, and improve child health. This program targets risk factors for child neglect and physical abuse in which parents are
taught skills in three module areas:

      • How to interact in a positive manner with their children, plan activities, and respond appropriately to challenging child behaviors,
      • How to recognize hazards in the home in order to improve the home environment, and
      • How to recognize and respond to symptoms of illness and injury, in addition to keeping good health records.


Kinship Navigator Services assist kinship caregivers in learning about, finding, and using programs and services to meet their needs. Kinship Navigator Services are available to kin or fictive kin caregivers with children placed in their care or temporarily residing with them as arranged by the parent. Kinship Navigator Services may be provided to kinship caregivers for a maximum of four months. As long as there is an open Department service case and an identified need, there is no limit to the number of referrals for a kinship caregiver to receive Kinship Navigator Services.

Solution Focused Meetings

SFMs are a formal family engagement strategy to work toward solutions. SFM activities and anticipated outcome will be based on which SBC milestone the family is in at the time of referral. SBC engagement and relapse strategies are utilized in facilitation of the meeting.

Families are best served when they are actively engaged and their voices are heard, valued, and considered with regard to decisions. SFMs support family-centered practices and are effective in ensuring the participation and cooperation of parents and their support systems in providing for the safety, well-being, and permanency of the child.

SFMs are solution based, draw on past successes of the family in problem solving, and work in partnership with the family. SFMs help support the continuity and congruency of the efforts, services, and supports being mobilized.


CFI’s FCS program serves families referred by HHS in the Des Moines Service Area – Polk, Madison, Marion, and Warren Counties, and a portion of the Western Service Area – Adair, Adams, Clarke, Decatur, Lucas, Ringgold, Union, and Wayne Counties.