Policies/Issues >> Preventive Services
What are Preventive Services?
Preventive services protect at-risk children and stabilize families in crisis. When a family is having problems, relationships among family members often become tense and uncomfortable, home-life crumbles, schoolwork suffers, financial stability is threatened and family health deteriorates. In some families, when the stress is overwhelming, it may lead to the abuse or neglect of children and may eventually result in foster care placement.

But not all at-risk children need foster care placement. Preventive services are accessible in neighborhoods throughout the City and provide timely counseling and support to protect children from abuse and neglect, allowing them to remain safely at home.

How do Preventive Services help families?
When children are at risk of abuse and neglect, preventive services respond by providing comprehensive services to children and their families. Each family is assigned a social worker who assesses the family's strengths and weaknesses. Help is provided to address whatever problems the family presents and can take place during regularly-scheduled home visits or directly at the preventive service agency. Many preventive services programs also work closely with neighborhood schools and other community organizations.

Whenever necessary, preventive services workers link families with a host of other services including (but not limited to):
  • day care
  • homemaking services
  • improved housing
  • vocational training
  • psychiatric help
  • legal aid
Whatever the combination of services, the focus is always on protecting children and enabling families to provide safe and nurturing homes for their children.

How are Preventive Services interconnected with other services?
Many Preventive Service programs operate as a neighborhood center and offer additional services using other funding streams. These services often include after school programs, evening, weekend and summer youth programs, youth employment training, summer youth jobs, teen pregnancy prevention, parenting groups, and alternative education.

NFSC Preventive Services Recommendations