Homebuilders - Intensive Family Preservation and Reunification Services

In-home Parent Skill-Based Well Supported

Homebuilders provides intensive, in-home counseling, skill building and support services for families who have children (0-18 years old) at imminent risk of out-of-home placement or who are in placement and cannot be reunified without intensive in-home services.

 

Homebuilders practitioners conduct behaviorally specific, ongoing, and holistic assessments that include information about family strengths, values, and barriers to goal attainment. Homebuilders practitioners then collaborate with family members and referents in developing intervention goals and corresponding service plans. These intervention goals and service plans focus on factors directly related to the risk of out-of-home placement or reunification.  Throughout the intervention the practitioner develops safety plans and uses clinical strategies designed to promote safety.

 

Homebuilders utilizes research-based intervention strategies including Motivational Interviewing, a variety of cognitive and behavioral strategies, and teaching methods intended to teach new skills and facilitate behavior change. Practitioners support families by providing concrete goods and services related to the intervention goals, collaborating with formal and informal community supports and systems, and teaching family members to advocate for themselves.  

 

Homebuilders services are concentrated during a period of 4 to 6 weeks with the goal of preventing out-of-home placements and achieving reunifications. Homebuilders therapists typically have small caseloads of 2 families at a time. Families typically receive 40 or more hours of direct face-to-face services. The family’s therapist is available to family members 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Treatment services primarily take place in the client's home. Providers are required to have a master’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or a closely related field or a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling, or a closely related field with at least 2 years of related experience.


Homebuilders is rated as a well-supported practice because at least two studies with non-overlapping samples carried out in usual care or practice settings achieved a rating of moderate or high on design and execution and demonstrated favorable effects in a target outcome domain. At least one of the studies demonstrated a sustained favorable effect of at least 12 months beyond the end of treatment on at least one target outcome.


Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed: Mar 2020


Sources

The program or service description, target population, and program or service delivery and implementation information was informed by the following sources: The California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, the program or service developer’s website, the program or service manual, and the studies reviewed.

 

Program/Service Description Updated: May 2020


This information does not necessarily represent the views of the program or service developers. For more information on how this program or service was reviewed, visit the Review Process page or download the Handbook.

Target Population

Homebuilders serves families who have children (0-18 years old) at imminent risk of out-of-home placement or who are in placement and cannot be reunified without intensive in-home services.

Dosage

Homebuilders services are concentrated during a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Families typically receive 40 or more hours of direct face-to-face services. The family’s Homebuilders practitioner is available to family members 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with primary back up from the Homebuilders supervisor. Services are tailored and sessions are flexibly scheduled based on the family members’ needs, goals, values, culture, circumstance, learning styles and abilities.

Location/Delivery Setting
Recommended Locations/Delivery Settings

Treatment services primarily take place in the client’s home. Services are provided when and where the family needs them, including other community locations (e.g. school).

Location/Delivery Settings Observed in the Research

  • Home

Education, Certifications and Training

Homebuilders practitioners are required to have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, counseling, or a closely related field. Practitioners with a bachelor’s degree are also required to have at least two years of related experience working with children and families.

Supervisors and program managers are also required to have a master’s or bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, counseling or a closely related field. Those with a master’s must have at least two years of experience working with children and families. Those with a bachelor’s degree must have at least four years of experience as a Homebuilders practitioner. If they do not have prior Homebuilders experience, supervisors must complete at least six Homebuilders interventions during their first year.

Practitioners, supervisors and program managers receive initial and ongoing training, consultation and support to deliver quality services and ensure fidelity to the Homebuilders model. The Homebuilders Quality Enhancement System (QUEST) includes start up consultation and technical assistance, webinars, 15 -17 days of workshop training for all staff during  the first two years, an additional 2-4 days of workshop training for supervisors and program managers, ongoing team and supervisor consultation with a highly trained and experienced Homebuilders consultant, fidelity reviews and site visits.

Program or Service Documentation
Book/Manual/Available documentation used for review

Kinney, J., Haapala, D. A., & Booth, C. (1991). Keeping families together: The HOMEBUILDERS model. New York, NY: Taylor Francis.

Available languages

Materials are available in English. Some documents and tools are also available in Spanish.

Other supporting materials

QUEST Overview

Homebuilders Standards

Homebuilders Fidelity Measures

Contact Information for Developers

Website: www.institutefamily.org

Email: info@institutefamily.org

Results of Search and Review Number of Studies Identified and Reviewed for Homebuilders - Intensive Family Preservation and Reunification Services
Identified in Search 17
Eligible for Review 3
Rated High 0
Rated Moderate 2
Rated Low 1
Reviewed Only for Risk of Harm 0
Outcome Effect Size
and Implied Percentile Effect
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings
Child safety 0.02
0
2 (10) 898 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 10
Unfavorable: 0
Child permanency 0.14
5
2 (22) 905 Favorable: 7
No Effect: 13
Unfavorable: 2
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health 0.10
3
1 (3) 634 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
Adult well-being: Economic and housing stability 0.06
2
1 (12) 638 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 11
Unfavorable: 0

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes for some outcomes were not able to be calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse.

Outcome Effect Size
and Implied Percentile Effect
N of Studies (Findings) N of Participants Summary of Findings Months after treatment
when outcome measured
Child safety 0.02
0
2 (10) 898 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 10
Unfavorable: 0
-
Walton, 1998
Number of Referrals to DCFS Null
not calculated
- 113 - 69
Westat, 2002
Any Substantiated Maltreatment (New Jersey Site) 0.00
0
- 442 - 11
Days to First Substantiated Maltreatment (Survival Analysis, New Jersey Site) Null
not calculated
- 442 - 21
Days to First Case Closure (Survival Analysis, New Jersey Site) Null
not calculated
- 442 - 21
Any Substantiated Maltreatment (Kentucky Site) 0.24
9
- 442 - 21
Any Child Protective Services Investigations (Kentucky Site) 0.01
0
- 442 - 21
Any Substantiated Maltreatment (Kentucky Site) 0.00
0
- 343 - 11
Any Substantiated Maltreatment (Kentucky Site) -0.09
-3
- 343 - 21
Any Child Protective Services Investigations (Kentucky Site) 0.02
0
- 343 - 21
Days to First Substantiated Maltreatment (Survival Analysis, Kentucky Site) Null
not calculated
- 343 - 21
Child permanency 0.14
5
2 (22) 905 Favorable: 7
No Effect: 13
Unfavorable: 2
-
Walton, 1993
Reunification 2.11 *
48
- 110 - 0
Reunification 0.72 *
26
- 110 - 6
Reunification 0.70 *
25
- 110 - 12
Days in Home 1.90 *
47
- 110 - 0
Days in Home 0.97 *
33
- 110 - 6
Days in Home 0.89 *
31
- 110 - 12
Walton, 1998
Days of Public Agency Involvement Null
not calculated
- 120 - 69
Family Stabilized at Termination of Public Agency Involvement 0.75 *
27
- 120 - 69
Westat, 2002
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, New Jersey Site) -0.22
-8
- 442 - 11
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, New Jersey Site) -0.30 *
-11
- 442 - 23
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, New Jersey Site) 0.12
4
- 442 - 0
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, New Jersey Site) -0.08
-3
- 442 - 7
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, New Jersey Site) -0.26
-10
- 442 - 17
Any Foster Care Placement (Survival Analysis, New Jersey Site) Unfavorable *
not calculated
- 442 - 21
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, Kentucky Site) -0.03
-1
- 343 - 11
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, Kentucky Site) -0.15
-5
- 343 - 23
Any Foster Care Placement (Survival Analysis, Kentucky Site) Null
not calculated
- 343 - 21
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, Kentucky Site) -0.12
-4
- 343 - 0
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only,Kentucky Site) 0.00
0
- 343 - 7
Any Foster Care Placement (Administrative Data Only, Kentucky Site) 0.00
0
- 343 - 17
Any Evidence of Foster Care Placement ( Administrative Data and Relative Placement File, Kentucky) 0.15
5
- 343 - 11
Days in Foster Care (Kentucky Site) 0.00
0
- 343 - 11
Adult well-being: Parent/caregiver mental or emotional health 0.10
3
1 (3) 634 Favorable: 0
No Effect: 3
Unfavorable: 0
-
Westat, 2002
Symptoms Checklist-90: Parent Depression (New Jersey Site) 0.19
7
- 343 - 0
Symptoms Checklist-90: Parent Depression (New Jersey Site) Null
not calculated
- 271 - 11
Symptoms Checklist-90: Parent Depression (Kentucky Site) Null
not calculated
- 291 - 0
Adult well-being: Economic and housing stability 0.06
2
1 (12) 638 Favorable: 1
No Effect: 11
Unfavorable: 0
-
Westat, 2002
Received Food Stamps Between Pre and Post-Treatment (New Jersey Site) -0.07
-2
- 344 - 1
Received WIC Between Pre and Post-Treatment (New Jersey Site) -0.07
-2
- 344 - 0
Received Aid for Dependent Families with Children Between Pre and Post-Treatment (New Jersey Site) 0.05
2
- 344 - 0
Received Housing Voucher Between Pre and Post-Treatment (New Jersey Site) -0.04
-1
- 344 - 0
Received Social Security Disability Between Pre and Post-Treatment (New Jersey Site) -0.12
-4
- 344 - 0
Emergency Shelter Stay Between Pre and Post-Treatment (New Jersey Site) 0.43
16
- 344 - 0
Received Food Stamps Between Pre and Post-Treatment (Kentucky Site) 0.16
6
- 294 - 0
Received WIC Between Pre and Post-Treatment (Kentucky Site) 0.33 *
13
- 294 - 0
Received Aid for Dependent Families with Children Between Pre and Post-Treatment (Kentucky Site) 0.05
1
- 294 - 0
Received Housing Voucher Between Pre and Post-Treatment (Kentucky Site) 0.21
8
- 294 - 0
Received Social Security Disability Between Pre and Post-Treatment (Kentucky Site) -0.13
-5
- 294 - 0
Emergency Shelter Stay Between Pre and Post-Treatment (Kentucky Site) 0.00
0
- 294 - 0

*p <.05

Note: For the effect sizes and implied percentile effects reported in the table, a positive number favors the intervention group and a negative number favors the comparison group. Effect sizes and implied percentile effects were calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse as described in the Handbook of Standards and Procedures, Section 5.10.4 and may not align with effect sizes reported in individual publications. Effect sizes for some outcomes were not able to be calculated by the Prevention Services Clearinghouse.

Only publications with eligible contrasts that met design and execution standards are included in the individual study findings table.

Full citations for the studies shown in the table are available in the "Studies Reviewed" section.

Sometimes study results are reported in more than one document, or a single document reports results from multiple studies. Studies are identified below by their Prevention Services Clearinghouse study identification numbers.

Studies Rated Moderate

Study 10597

Walton, E., Fraser, M. W., Lewis, R. E., & Pecora, P. J. (1993). In-home family-focused reunification: An experimental study. Child Welfare, 72(5), 473-487.

Walton, E. (1996). Family functioning as a measure of success in intensive family preservation services. Journal of Family Social Work, 1(3), 67-82.

Walton, E. (1998). In-home family-focused reunification: A six-year follow-up of a successful experiment. Social Work Research, 22(4), 205-214. doi:10.1093/swr/22.4.205

Fraser, M. W., Walton, E., Lewis, R. E., Pecora, P. J., & Walton, W. K. (1996). An experiment in family reunification: Correlates of outcomes at one-year follow-up. Children and Youth Services Review, 18(4-5), 335-361. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/0190-7409(96)00009-6

Study 10598

Westat, Chapin Hall Center for Children, & James Bell Associates. (2002). Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Westat, Chapin Hall Center for Children, & James Bell Associates. Evaluation of family preservation and reunification programs: Interim report


Studies Rated Low

Study 10591

Kirk, R. S., & Griffith, D. P. (2004). Intensive family preservation services: Demonstrating placement prevention using event history analysis. Social Work Research, 28(1), 5-16.

This study received a low rating because baseline equivalence of the intervention and comparison groups was necessary and not demonstrated.


Studies Not Eligible for Review

Study 10583

Administration for Children, Youth, and Families (1991). Boysville of Michigan Family Reunification Project. Final Report, May 17, 1989 - June 30, 1991. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10584

Bath, H. I., & Haapala, D. A. (1993). Intensive family preservation services with abused and neglected children: An examination of group differences. Child Abuse & Neglect, 17(2), 213-225. doi:10.1016/0145-2134(93)90041-3

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10585

Biehal, N. (2005). Working with adolescents at risk of out of home care: The effectiveness of specialist teams. Children and Youth Services Review, 27(9), 1045-1059. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2004.12.031

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10586

Evans, M. E., Boothroyd, R. A., & Armstrong, M. I. (1997). Development and implementation of an experimental study of the effectiveness of intensive in-home crisis services for children and their families. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 5(2), 93-105. doi:10.1177/106342669700500204

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10587

Fraser, M. W., Pecora, P. J., Popuang, C., & Haapala, D. A. (1992). Event history analysis: A proportional hazards perspective on modeling outcomes in intensive family preservation services. Journal of Social Service Research, 16(1-2), 123-158.

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10589

Forrester, D., Copello, A., Waissbein, C., & Pokhrel, S. (2008). Evaluation of an intensive family preservation service for families affected by parental substance misuse. Child Abuse Review, 17(6), 410-426. doi:10.1002/car.1048

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10590

Forrester, D., Holland, S., Williams, A., & Copello, A. (2016). Helping families where parents misuse drugs or alcohol? A mixed methods comparative evaluation of an intensive family preservation service. Child & Family Social Work, 21(1), 65-75. doi:10.1111/cfs.12111

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10592

Lewis, R. E. (2005). The effectiveness of Families First services: An experimental study. Children and Youth Services Review, 27(5), 499-509. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2004.10.009

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10593

Littell, J. H. (1997). Effects of the duration, intensity, and breadth of family preservation services: A new analysis of data from the Illinois Family First experiment. Children and Youth Services Review, 19(1-2), 17-39. doi:10.1016/S0190-7409(97)00004-2

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10594

Littell, J. H. (2001). Client participation and outcomes of intensive family preservation services. Social Work Research, 25(2), 103-114. doi:10.1093/swr/25.2.103

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10595

Pecora, P. J., Fraser, M. W., & Haapala, D. A. (1992). Intensive home-based family preservation services: An update from the FIT project. Child Welfare, 71(2), 177-188.

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10596

Raschick, M., & Critchley, R. (1998). Guidelines for conducting site-based evaluations of intensive family preservation programs. Child Welfare, 77(6), 643-660.

This study is ineligible for review because it does not use an eligible study design (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.4).

Study 10599

Walton, E. (1997). Enhancing investigative decisions in child welfare: An exploratory use of intensive family preservation services. Child Welfare, 76(3), 447-461.

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).

Study 10600

Walton, E. (2001). Combining abuse and neglect investigations with intensive family preservation services: An innovative approach to protecting children. Research on Social Work Practice, 11(6), 627-644. doi:10.1177/104973150101100601

This study is ineligible for review because it is not a study of the program or service under review (Study Eligibility Criterion 4.1.6).