What is Integrated Family Care and Support?
The Department of Children and Families has established a new program leading to the empowerment and strengthening of families - and the core values in our work we strive to achieve each day.
Integrated Family Care and Support (IFCS), engages families while connecting them to concrete, traditional and non-traditional resources in their community, including the full array of Department funded services.
Families eligible for the program will be those who are the subject of an investigation that is not substantiated and the children are determined to be safe, yet needs have been identified jointly with the family requiring in-home supports. Up until the launch of IFCS, these families would typically be transferred to ongoing DCF services and remained open as a child protective services case. With the family's participation, ongoing case management activities will now be provided by Beacon Health Options and the Department will close its case.
Each family will be assigned a Family Care and Support Coordinator (FCSC) who will assume responsibilities with the family including:
- Maintaining direct contact with the family
- Assembling and coordinating Family Team meetings
- Developing and completing the family's Plan of Care
- Administering the array of necessary assessments and/or surveys
Families will also have the opportunity to work with a Peer Specialist who will advocate and mentor them to take the lead in the development of their Plan of Care to be reviewed every two months. The North Carolina Family Assessment Scale for General Services (NCFAS-G) will be completed with the family to identify strengths and needs to help inform service delivery.
During the first five weeks, IFCS will have weekly visits with families and then every other week thereafter as well as regular phone contact.
The program is expected to last 6 to 9 months and is capable of being extended. A family satisfaction survey will be completed prior to discharge as one important method to evaluate the success of the program. The UCONN School of Social Work is also evaluating IFCS.
A more detailed summary of the program can be found here: IFCS Detailed Summary
Frequently Asked Questions can be accessed here: IFCS Questions
Implementation has commenced this week in Regions 4 and 5, and full statewide implementation will be completed by April 1st.
All families need partners in the community to help them raise children who are safe, happy and successful -- and that can happen without the Department continuing to be a presence in their lives. It is my belief that this program is an important development as we continue our work to strengthen families to raise resilient children who thrive.
We look forward to our partnerships leading to the success of supporting families to keep children safely at home!