Part IV: Prevention and Permanency a Common Goal for SOS Illinois and the Family First Prevention Services Act

While preventing youth from becoming a part of the system cannot always be the case, before children enter foster care, it is the goal of the Family First Prevention Services Act to attempt to provide intervention services for the families of these at-risk youth in the hopes of correcting a situation without removal of the child. This is part IV of a four-part series. Click here to read installments I, II, and III.

Family First Prevention Services Act

Casa Tepeyac Focuses on Intervention as well as Prevention

At SOS Illinois, we have been providing intervention services at Casa Tepeyac as part of a mission to foster prevention for at-risk youth and their families. These services focus on doing everything we can to support, educate, and inform both children and their parents with the goal of preventing a child or sibling group from being required to be removed from their home.

Intervention Services Provide the Ability to End the Cycle of Foster Care

Our dedicated team at Casa Tepeyac provides in-home family services that focus on preventing neglect and abuse before a child needs to be placed into foster care. Through educating and supporting families, providing them with necessary parenting skills, connecting them with resources in their community, and focusing on strengthening familial bonds, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois has experienced a high success rate reported with our in-home family services in that these families are no longer required to be involved with DCFS and don’t re-offend after our intervention. These families are utilizing our education and resources through applying what they learn, and in turn, are reducing the cycle of abuse.

Other ways Casa Tepeyac provides assistance to families during intervention are:

  • Reducing the stigma around mental health
  • Weekly on-site parenting workshops focused on encouraging parents to help one another learn and process different topics
  • Providing lecture series’ in collaboration with other local organizations

Finding Permanency for Youth Becomes the Goal When Foster Care Placement is Required

SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is committed to finding a forever home for children in foster care, whether it is an individual or a group of siblings, and our goal is to find this permanency through reunification with a biological parent or family member, or adoption. Permanency doesn’t just mean placement, either. It is helping to establish and maintain meaningful connections with family, friends, and the community for the youth leaving our care.

Permanency in Returning Foster Youth to Their Home

When children are able to return to their home, the process requires intensive, family-centered services that support a stable and safe home environment. SOS Illinois focuses on tailoring these services to each family’s individual circumstances in order to address the issues that required the child to be placed into foster care to begin with.

An Alternative in Adoption for Children in Foster Care

In the cases where children in foster care are unable to return to their birth homes, adoption provides a stable and legally binding relationship for children and their adoptive parents. Often times, relatives will adopt the youth, but when that doesn’t occur, our dedicated on-site child welfare professionals recruit potential adoptive families.

Through our dedication to providing assistance, education, and support with our intervention services from Casa Tepeyac as well as our commitment to placing the children in our care in permanent, healthy and stable environments, SOS Children’s Villages Illinois is helping to shape the future of foster care, much the same as the Family First Prevention Services Act.

For more ways that you can join the cause in breaking the cycle of foster care among our youth, consider supporting SOS Illinois through our Holiday Giving Program.