Healthy family relationships provide safety, permanency, and well-being for children. However, families facing additional challenges, like limited access to financial resources, stable housing, medical care, and education, make the need for support even more significant. Family support services refer to a range of supports for families with children or for family preservation, which are more intensive and intended to preserve families at risk of adverse events. The supports are part of a continuum of care that builds on the principles of family-centered practice to support and strengthen families. These principles include focusing on families’ strengths, engaging families in planning and decision-making, and leveraging community-based assistance.
Parenting educators rely on non-governmental organizations and local government services to provide family support and preservation services like in-home services, mental health assistance, substance use disorder treatment, and parent education. It also offers resources for child welfare managers on family engagement, cultural competence, evaluation, evidence-based practice, funding, and professional development training.
National Council on Family Relations is a multidisciplinary professional association focused solely on family research, practice, and education. ncfr.org
U.S. Department of Education’s Family and Community Engagement provides research-backed tools for educational success. U.S. Dept of Ed Parents page
Iowa State University Extension Parenting has research-based parenting education for all stages of childhood. Services include Ask an Expert, The Science of Parenting podcast, and a Just in Time Parenting newsletter. https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences/parenting
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides a list of parent education resources, including a parent helpline, in addition to tools used to conduct parent education programs. https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/prevention-programs/parented/education-resource/