The promise and problems of a controversial effort to keep troubled families together
The Family at Risk offers a comprehensive overview and assessment of the family preservation movement, a relatively new and highly controversial form of service delivery to families at imminent risk of child removal. Mandated by federal legislation and hotly debated by politicians, practitioners, and public citizens, family preservation programs provide flexible, labor-intensive, home-based services that allow families to remain intact while addressing issues that threaten their safety and survival. Marianne Berry examines such programs, which have proliferated throughout the United States, and speculates on the future of this emotionally charged aspect of social work policy and practice.
Berry measures the overall effectiveness of several family preservation models currently in use throughout the United States; defines many commonly misused terms, including "imminent risk" and "reasonable efforts;" and illustrates how principles of family preservation programs are often at odds with the philosophy and constraints of larger public child welfare and child protective services systems.
Marianne Berry is an associate professor of social work and director of the Center for Child Welfare at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is an author of Adoption and Disruption: Rates, Risks and Responses.
"This is an important contribution to the growing literature on family preservation."—Ellen Gilbert, Rutgers University
"Should be required reading for all practitioners and students of family services. Highly recommended."—M. E. Elwell, emeritus, Salisbury State University