Bethany Christian Services of Missouri
Safe Families for Children
Safe Families for Children (SFFC) is a program that surrounds families in crisis with caring, compassionate community. Certified Host Families care for children temporarily while their parents work to remedy the crisis they are experiencing. In addition to providing a safe place for children to stay temporarily, professional staff set goals with parents and work to connect them to resources that will restore stability to their lives.
Family Strengthening Program
The Strengthening Families Program at Bethany serves families with children between zero and five years of age. Families receive parenting education and supportive case management to build parent-child interactions and reduce stress in the home, thereby decreasing risks for child abuse and neglect. Through the Strengthening Families Program, families meet with a case manager on average two times a month for up to one year. Sessions typically run 1.5 to 2 hours long. During that time, families work to build their knowledge of positive parenting. They also gain essential life skills and support to achieve their personal goals, such as employment and stable housing through case management services. These two services help to achieve the three goals of the program. 1) Children are free from substantiated incidents of child abuse and/or neglect 2) Children develop positive relationships with caring adults 3) Parents/caregivers gain knowledge and/or demonstrate healthy practices for positive parenting. The Nurturing Skills for Parents curriculum is used to build on positive parenting knowledge. Parents complete two assessment tools, the Nurturing Skills Competency Scale (NSCS) and the Adult Adolescent Parenting Inventory (AAPI) at the start of services to assess their current parenting skills and areas for growth. These tools help the parent and case manager identify lesson priorities. There are 16 skill areas within the Nurturing curriculum which include child development, discipline, and managing stress. At each session, a lesson is completed with the parents and their understanding and ability to implement the new knowledge is assessed through questions in the Family Nurturing Plan. There is flexibility within the model to allow for lessons to be covered in a different order or for the focus to be on different modules to best meet the individual needs of each family being served. Case management is also a critical aspect of the program. Service planning is done collaboratively with clients to determine the needs of the family, as well as their strengths. Addressing the family's immediate needs requires both direct services and supportive referrals. Case management services help reduce stressors in the family, which helps to provide safety and stability to children and their families.