What are Prevention Services?

By Cassie Parkin, Prevention Services Case Manager

Prevention services are best described as providing families with needed resources BEFORE a crisis occurs so that they can stay together and thrive. Whether it is the state, county, local communities, or nonprofits meeting the needs of families, the objective is the same: keeping families together and safe while preventing involvement with the child welfare system.

Currently, the state of Texas is moving towards utilizing more prevention services because it believes that “families have primary responsibility for creating a safe and nurturing environment for their children.”1 This means that they are allocating more funding and support to partners in communities across the state of Texas to try and meet the needs of families before a crisis occurs. Services could include a nonprofit providing food for a family, a community center distributing back-to-school supplies, or a church helping a family pay rent to avoid eviction. For more information on the state’s Prevention and Early Intervention programs click here.

The trend toward more prevention services in our communities is great for the families of Texas because it encourages those in the local communities to care for families at risk of neglect and abuse before they interact with the child welfare system. Parenting is hard. It is made even harder by challenges such as not having enough food, unsafe housing, long work hours, and insufficient childcare. Prevention service programs across the state connect families in need with individuals, organizations, and programs in their community that can assist them in getting their needs met. To find Prevention and Early Intervention Programs in your area click here.

Casa de Esperanza’s mission has always been to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect for at-risk infants, children, and their families by providing comprehensive residential and family support programs. While the push for prevention services across Texas is relatively new, we have been supporting our families through Foster Care, Post Permanency, and Aftercare Services since each program’s inception at Casa. Our Case Managers help meet the tangible needs of our clients through our food and diaper pantry, as well as by helping to connect our families with resources in the community. Casa is also piloting a Prevention Services Program that supports families under stress before foster care becomes necessary.  We offer crisis intervention case management services, trauma-informed parenting classes, and coaching.

By rolling out more prevention services across the state, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) recognizes that “almost all families want to do what is best for their children but often need some form of support to make it happen.”1 Everyone needs help sometimes. The expansion of prevention services across the state and at Casa will help connect at-risk families with the help they need to keep their children safe, strengthen their families and thrive.

1 https://www.dfps.texas.gov/Prevention_and_Early_Intervention/Community_Toolkit/default.asp