In-Home Services (Family Preservation & Reunification)
Lehigh Valley Families Together, Inc. offers in-home services to families residing in Lehigh and Northampton Counties working with Children and Youth Services. This means we work with families whose children are at-risk for removal from the home (Family Preservation), or families who are working on coming back together after out-of-home placement has already occurred (Family Reunification). We work hard to identify family concerns, and more importantly, strengths, to address and improve health and functioning. As our mission states, it is our belief that all families have the potential to change, and family members are crucial in the problem-solving process. Through intensive case management, counseling, and education, and by connecting families with traditional and non-traditional community supports within their neighborhoods, we work to provide family-centered services that help keep children at home.
Family Group Decision Making
In our Family Group Decision Making program, family members make decisions on how best to care for their children in order to resolve issues with minimal outside participation. Everyone works as partners. A worker from our agency meets with family members to get ready for the meeting, decide what needs to be done and who to invite. A date, time and meeting place is chosen by the family. At the meeting, which is initially mediated by LVFT, everyone addresses strengths and concerns of the family. The family has alone time (when all professionals involved leave the meeting) to make a plan for the children. Afterward workers return to discuss the family’s plan. This service can be used with families that are Children and Youth (county) involved, but also for families not associated with Children and Youth Services in order to prevent involvement with the county from occurring.
Visit coaching is employed for families who visit with their children in out-of-home placement to work toward reunification. Visit coaching includes: helping parents articulate children’s needs to be met in visits; helping parents give their children their full attention at each visit; appreciating parents’ strengths in responding to their child and coaching them to improve their skills; and helping parents cope with their feelings in order to keep negative feelings from interfering with the visit. Visit coaching is an extension of our belief that a child’s birth family is the first and best option whenever possible. This service is available for families involved with Children and Youth Services and would require a referral from a caseworker.