Strengthening Americas Families HOME Got to Program ListGo to Program MatrixGo to Rating Criteria



Charlotte Booth, Executive Director
Institute for Family Development
(Contact) Shelley Leavitt, Ph.D., Assistant Director
181 South 333rd Street, Suite 200
Federal Way, WA 98003-6307

(253) 874-3630           Fax: (253) 838-1670

Comprehensive Speciality
0-18 years Target
Model Rating

The HOMEBUILDERS Program is one of the best documented Intensive Family Preservation Programs in the country. The program is designed to break the cycle of family dysfunction by strengthening families, keeping children safe, and preventing foster care, residential and other forms of out-of-home placement. The program goals include improving family functioning; increasing social support; increasing parenting skills; preventing or reducing child abuse and neglect; improving school and job attendance and performance; improving household living conditions; establishing daily routines; improving adult and child self-esteem; helping clients become self-directed; and enhancing motivation for change while decreasing family conflict and other problems. The program is designed for the most seriously troubled families, who are referred by a number of child service agencies. Populations served include newborns to teenagers, and their families.

The program includes 4-6 weeks of intensive, in-home services to children and families. A practitioner with a caseload of two families provides counseling, hard services, develops community support, and spends an average of 8-10 hours per week in direct contact with the family, and is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for crisis intervention. The program utilizes a single practitioner model with a team back-up for co-therapy and consultation. Teaching strategies involve modeling, descriptions of skills and behaviors, role plays and rehearsals of newly acquired skills. Teaching tools include skills-based video- and audio-tapes, work books, handouts, articles and exercises. Therapeutic processes used are skill building, behavioral interventions, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, rational emotive therapy, and other cognitive strategies.

HOMEBUILDERS has been evaluated both formally and informally since it began in 1974. Results from studies using single group and quasi-experimental designs have shown repeated positive findings favoring HOMEBUILDERS on a variety of measures focusing on placement prevention as well as child and family functioning.


Implementation Costs:

The number of staff (practitioner and supervisors) required for the program will depend on the number of families to be served annually. The Institue uses a "team" approach to service delivery that utilizes a single practitioner with team back up for emergencies and for case consultation. Typically, a team consists of three to four practitioners and a supervisor who also carries a part-time caseload. Each practitioner serves between 18 to 20 families per year. A full-time supervisor supervises four to six (FTE) staff. HOMEBUILDERS staff are required to have at least a BA degree in human services or a related field and a minimum of two years experience working with children, parents and/or families. Training manuals are available to those attending the workshops (see training costs). The price of the manuals range from $25 to $50 (depending on the type of workshop). Other materials that are available include a staff selection and hiring manual ($40); client directed assessment tool called "Your Deal" ($24.95) and a program development and implementation guide (available in early 2000, cost has not been determined). The training manuals may be copied for use only with clients, all other materials need to be ordered from The Institue. An optional videotape, "Skills For Family and Community Living" is available with a leader's guide for $149.95 plus shipping. The Institue has an extensive bibliography of recommended readings and other materials that are included in our training manuals.

Training Costs:

The Institue provides a series of workshops for practitioners and supervisors. Descriptions and length of training workshops follow: the initial workshop for practitioners, "Fundamentals of Family Preservation Practice" is six days (Part I is 4 days, Part II is 2 days); the initial training for supervisors is two to three days. We encourage programs to limit the number of participants to 30. One trainer is used when there are 15 or fewer participants. Two trainers are generally used when there are more than 15 participants. The training costs are a $1,200 a day fee per trainer, travel costs (e.g., hotel, airfare, per diem, etc) and $50 per training manual for the initial practitioner and supervisor training workshops. Also available are on-site consultation packages and follow-up training on a variety of specialized topics (including working with drug affected families, family preservation and domestic violence, working with parents who have limited cognitive abilities, and working with children with mental health problems).


Revised 11/10/2002

About   |   Literature Review   |   Model Programs   |   Helpful Links

Dept. of Health Promotion and Education