Families In CrisisHome-Based Therapy, Case-Worker and Parent Aide Services

The Family Focus staff provides home-based family preservation services to families referred by the Indiana Department of Child Services or juvenile probation. The Family Focus Crisis program services Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Starke, and Pulaski Counties. Family Focus provides these services through the following service standards:

The Therapist will provide structured, goal-oriented, time-limited therapy in the natural environment of families who need assistance recovering from physical, sexual, emotional abuse, and neglect. Other issues, including substance abuse, mental illness, personality/behavior disorder, developmental disability, dysfunctional family of origin, and current family dysfunction, may be addressed in the course of treating the abuse/neglect.

The Caseworker will provide home-based casework services for multi-problem and/or dysfunctional families. Home-based casework services are also available for pre-adoptive and post-adoption families at risk or in crisis. The program’s interventions seek to minimize the risk to the family and maximize placement permanency, through enhancing parenting competence and coping strategies.

The Parent Aid will provide assistance and support for parents who are unable to appropriately fulfill parenting and/or home-making functions, Paraprofessional staff assists the family through advocating, teaching, demonstrating, monitoring, and/or role modeling new, appropriate skills for coping with various stressors.

Counseling: Office-Based Individual Therapy

Services can be provided at our main office in Valparaiso or any of our satellite offices located in Lake and LaPorte Counties.  Services include the provision of structured, goal-oriented therapy for families affected by physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or neglect.  Other issues, including substance abuse, mental illness, behavioral disorders, developmental disability, dysfunctional families of origin, etc., may be addressed in the course of treating the abuse/neglect.  In addition, counseling may be provided to address family or youth issues that resulted in the involvement of juvenile probation.  Individual, couples, and/or family counseling and Social Skills Training.

Assessment: Parenting and Family Functioning

A Parenting/Family Functioning Assessment will be conducted in order to establish current family functioning for the purposes of providing service recommendations.

The Assessment will be completed by a Family Focus Therapist who will gather comprehensive information about all relevant family members including social histories; family’s strengths and needs; family medical, psychiatric, and educational needs; substance abuse/usage; present parenting abilities, attitudes and employment; risks and current issues that may jeopardize the child(ren)’s safety; and any changes that need to be made for the child(ren) to remain in the home.

Substance Use Disorder Assessment

This service standard applies to families and children involved with the Department of Child Services and/or Probation. Services may be provided for clients of all ages in need of an assessment for substance use. The goal of the initial substance use assessment is to evaluate the client’s substance use, the client’s level of functioning and the appropriate entrance into substance use treatment services.


Family Focus staff will assist, coordinate, and facilitate visitations with the focus of helping parents, children and siblings develop healthy relationships that will then promote bonding, communication and nurturing interaction. Visit Facilitation will also promote the opportunity for parents, children and siblings to re-establish relationships while allowing parents to learn and demonstrate alternative parenting concepts in a safe, positive, and structured environment.

Father Engagement Services

Bringing Back the Dads

This 12 week curriculum focuses on engaging nonresident fathers whose children are involved in the child welfare system. The goal of this program is to strengthen fathers relationships with their children as well as with the child welfare system and the courts. At the onset of this curriculum, it will be emphasized to fathers the irreplaceable role they can play in the lives of their children and how they, as men, contribute good things to their children simply by virtue of being male parents. This curriculum will be used in a group setting or on an individual basis and some of the topics covered over the 12 week program include:

  • Dad as Part of the solution: Overview of the child welfare system
  • Dad as Planner: Planning in the Child Welfare System
  • Dad as a Healthy Parent: Taking care of you
  • Dad as Community Member: Identifying and accessing resources
  • Dad as Cultural guide: The role of culture in parenting
  • Dad as Parent: Understanding your children
  • Dad as Part of Children’s Placement: Visiting with your children

All fathers will be administered the AAPI-II at the beginning of the program and again at the end to measure if their parenting scores improved.

Nurturing Fathers

The Nurturing Fathers curriculum, created by Mark Perlman of the Center for Growth & Development, is a 12 week program that was created to cultivate and support the attitudes and skills for male nurturance, hoping to benefit men, women and children in family relationships. A nurturing father is defined as “a man who actively provides guidance, love, and support to enhance the development and growth of children for whom he cares.” This curriculum is based on this premise and the goals of this program is to increase the nurturing skills of fathers and let go of old fathering practices that do not bring desired results. This curriculum will be used on an individual basis or in a group format. Some of the topics covered in this program include:

  • Self-Nurturing Skills
  • The Power to Nurture: Fathering without fear or violence
  • Overcoming Barriers to Nurturing Fathering: Anger, Alcohol/other Substances, and Stress
  • Discipline and Fun & Games
  • Balancing Work and Parenting
  • Nurturing Relationships: Fathering Sons and Fathering Daughters
  • Nurturing Relationships: Teamwork between Father and Spouses/Co-Parent

All fathers will be administered the AAPI-II at the beginning of the program and again at the end to measure if their parent scores improved.

Parent Education Services

Effective Discipline for Children Ages 2-12

The 1-2-3 Magic program offers parents, pediatricians, mental health professionals, grandparents, teachers and even babysitters a simple and gentle-but-firm approach to managing the behavior of 2 to 12 year olds, whether they are average kids or special needs children.

The Nurturing Program for Parents and Children

The Nurturing Program for Parents and Children curriculum teaches parents about: expectations of child development ages and stages, parenting strengths, nurturing parenting, improving child self worth, praise, empathy and nurturing self, child abuse, understanding stress, recognizing and understanding feelings, problem solving, understanding and expressing anger, our bodies, sex and AIDS, positive self talk, and hopes and fears.

Positive Parenting – 1 & 2

The Positive Parenting parts one and two curriculum teaches parents about what is discipline and punishment, understanding child development ages and stages, logical and natural consequences, listening to your children, dealing and coping with adult and child anger, praise, respect, teaching responsibility, peer pressure, sibling relations, and understanding challenging behaviors.

Positive Parenting for Teens

Positive Parenting for Teens helps you meet the challenges of raising teens.  Our parent and family education offerings build family strengths including better family communication and decision making, stronger parent-teen relationships, child development, responsibility, managing conflict, discipline, and more confident parenting.

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