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2000 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 5, No. 1
April 2000

Family Support Service Models at Work in North Carolina

Smart Start: A comprehensive public-private initiative to help all North Carolina's children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start programs and services provide children under age six access to high-quality and affordable child care, health care, and other critical family services (The North Carolina Partnership for Children, 1999).

Intensive Family Preservation: Provides in-home crisis intervention services designed to help families at imminent risk of having a child removed from the home. Helps to maintain children safely in their homes (whenever possible) and prevent unnecessary separation of families. Characterized by very small caseloads for workers, short duration of services, 24-hour availability of staff, the provision of services primarily in the child's home, and intensive and time-limited services (NCDCS-DHHS, 1998).

Family Resource Centers (FRC): A one-stop centralized source for family services that may be provided through information, referral, and on-site or home-based strategies. Services target families and children from birth through grade-school age. Examples of family support service models often incorporated in FRCs include parent education, leadership development, and information and referral services, as well as other services unique to the community (NCDCS-DHHS, 1998).

Families for Kids (FFK): FFK began as an effort to reform child welfare. This year, in an effort to improve outcomes in this area, it begins a new phase in which reform efforts focus more on family support and linking DSS's work to preventive efforts in the community.

Restoring Families Program: Works to prepare substance-abusing parents for reunification with children in DSS custody. Work with families is intensive, with a caseload of four families or a total of eight children (as opposed to the regular case management load of about 12 cases, with 18 children total). Emphasis is on using family strengths and other agencies in preparing plans. Even if a child is not removed from the home, families still need support (Bell, 1999).


Bell, S. M. (1999). Telephone interview. [October 20, 1999].

N.C. Division of Children's Services, Dept. of Health and Human Services. (March 4, 1998). N.C. Family Preservation/Family Support Program, Resource Development Team. Online: [1999, October 19].

N.C. Partnership for Children. Smart Start home page. Online: [1999, October 20].

2000 Jordan Institute for Families