Homebuilders, a foster care placement prevention program developed in 1974 in Tacoma, Washington, calls for short-term, time-limited services provided to the entire family in the home.4 The program is based, in part, on crisis intervention theory. This theory holds that families experiencing a crisis - that is, about to have a child placed in foster care - will be more amenable to receiving services and learning new behaviors. Social learning theory also plays a part in defining the Homebuilders model. Social learning theory rejects the belief that changes in thinking and feeling must precede changes in behavior. Instead, behavior, beliefs, and expectations influence each other in a reciprocal manner. Key program characteristics include: contact with the family within 24 hours of the crisis, caseload sizes of one or two families per worker, service duration of four to six weeks, provision of both concrete services and counseling, and up to 20 hours of service per family per week.
4. Jill Kinney, David Haapala, and Charlotte Booth. (1991). Keeping families together: The Homebuilders model. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.