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Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs: Final Report

Submitted to:

Department of Health and Human Services

Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation

Submitted by:

Westat 1650 Research Boulevard Rockville, MD 20850

Chapin Hall Center for Children University of Chicago 1313 East 60th Street Chicago, IL 60637

James Bell Associates 1001 19th Street, North Suite 1500 Arlington, VA 22209


The Evaluation of Family Preservation and Reunification Programs, conducted between 1994 and 2002, studied four local programs providing services intended to improve family functioning and reduce unnecessary foster care placements. This traditional, experimental-design evaluation examined outcomes of sites that each used the popular HomeBuilders service model which provides intensive services to families over a period of approximately 6 weeks. The report discusses family outcomes approximately one year after program entry. Key findings include: (1) families served experienced a range of problems; (2) participating families received a wider and deeper array of services; (3) foster care placement was not reduced; (4) child safety was maintained; (5) family functioning did not generally improve; (6) all subgroups experienced similar outcomes; (7) families thought their lives had improved.

Executive Summary  (in PDF format - 26 pages)

Volume I:  (in PDF format - 221 pages)

Volume II:  (in PDF format - 280 pages)