Providing family solutions to create safe, loving, nurturing homes since 1989.
Family Focus, Inc. began in 1989 as Family Support Services, a non-profit and non-medical home-based Family Preservation Program in partnership with LaPorte County VNA (Visiting Nurses Association).
In 1997 Family Support Services, along with its partnering agency VNA, merged with LaPorte Hospital. Family Support Services continued doing business under the corporate umbrella of LaPorte Hospital until 2003, when Family Support Services broke away and became its own self-sustaining non-profit agency and changed the agency name to Family Focus Inc. In the 23 years since its inception Family Focus has provided an array of Community-Based Programs including Crisis, and Prevention Services, and Parental Educational Instruction, collectively servicing over 6,000 families to date throughout Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke, Pulaski, and Marshall Counties.
Family Focus has been providing home-based crisis intervention services since 1989 and has a tradition of a solid working relationship with the Department of Child Services. Originally these services fell into one of two programs, K.K.I.S.S. (Keeping Kids in Safe Surroundings) or Intact (Intensive Home-Based Services). Today these services collectively fall under the Crisis Programs, and, although the service titles have evolved over the years, they typically included Home-Based Therapy, Casework Services, Parent Aid/Homemaker, and Visitation Facilitation.
Because of Family Focus’ long history of successfully providing brief Intensive Home-based services, in 2009 Intensive Home-based Reunification/Preservation Services (Homebuilders ®) was seamlessly added to the service milieu. Also added in 2009 were Family Functioning Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation Services in order to further the agency’s mission of providing families with a complete array of services.
Family Focus’ Prevention Services began in 1995 with the KIDS (Kids in Difficult Situations) program. This home-based service was developed to assist/educate families during difficult life stressors in order to prevent the escalation of abuse and/or neglect, circumventing the need for DCS involvement. Historically, these services included any combination of Home-Based Therapy, Caseworker and Parent Aid services. Today the KIDS program is a Home-Based Model and referrals come from schools, probation, physicians, social service agencies, and self-referrals. The KIDS program serves families in Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, and Pulaski Counties.
The second Prevention Program is Healthy Families of Indiana. The Newton and Jasper County Healthy Families began in 1997 and added Stark County in 2009 and Marshall County in 2010. This Home-Based service is to support families both prenatally and with new babies. The program provides parents with a wide variety of child development instruction, parent education, support and safety education for the first 3 years of the child’s life.
The Father’s Nurturing Program was established in 1997, its mission was to empower, support, and educate fathers in a group format. The goal of the Program was to teach fathers how to be more supportive, nurturing and involved with their children. Today the Father’s Program curriculum is used individually in the homes to educate Fathers of their responsibilities as parents, co-parents, and the important nurturing role they have in their child’s life.
The Parent Education Instructional programs began in 1994, when Family Focus was approached by the family courts to provide some type of assistance/education to divorcing parents with children under the age of 18. Family Focus then implemented the Transparenting® program. The Transparenting ® curriculum educates divorcing parents about the stress and emotional impact this drastic change causes a child. These stressful life changes can be lessened through parents learning appropriate methods for co-parenting in separate households. Transparenting ®, is a four (4) hour seminar in which both parents must attend and successfully complete in order for their divorce to be finalized. In 1995, Family Focus added the Families Beyond Conflict ® seminar to aid those parents already divorced but still having serious problems co-parenting their children successfully. This workshop is six (6) weeks long and must include both parents attending at the same time so that their particular issues/concerns can be addressed through learning conflict resolution, through lecture of male/female facilitators, homework, and role-playing.
Family Focus moved its central office from Michigan City, Indiana to Valparaiso, Indiana in July of 2011 and fulfilled a vision in 2012 by opening the Focus Counseling center. Focus Counseling provides out-patient counseling and psychological evaluations. Focus Counseling accepts most major insurance carriers, Medicaid, and Medicare. Focus Counseling has satellite offices in Lake, Starke, and LaPorte Counties.
Family Focus Crisis Programs are funded by the state and federal funding. The Family Focus Healthy Families Program is funded by federal funding. The Family Focus KIDS program is made possible by state funding. Supplemental funding for Newton County is made possible by The Newton County Step-Ahead Council.
Family Focus is involved in the following partnerships in the counties they serve: WIC (Women’s, Infants and Children), Newton County Step Ahead, Porter County Step Ahead, Work One, Hoosier Healthwise, and First Steps, Starke County CCRT (Coordinated Community Response Team), Starke County CADA (Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Starke and Marshall County Head Start and Early Head Start.