Children and adults with serious emotional, mental and behavioral disturbances are faced with difficult daily challenges across all domains – home, school, work and social situations as well as in the community. Consequently, these children and adults need to be linked with mental health providers, educational providers, child welfare, juvenile justice, employment security, other agencies and natural supports to ensure that these individuals have access to the services and supports they need to succeed. Integrated Family Services provides a delivery system that supports the family’s efforts to successfully maintain its member in as normal and safe of an environment as possible. The model focuses on four main features:
Help-Giver Characteristics – IFS staff are positive and proactive, assume client capacity to become competent, build on family strengths, emphasize solutions to family problems, and promote active client participation in resource mobilization.
Community Support Functions – IFS employes roles and functions that create opportunities for families to become capable and competent using enabling experiences that support and strengthen family functioning.
Needs Identification / Resource Mobilization – IFS actively involves families in specifying their needs, mobilizing resources to meet needs, and play a major decision-making role regarding family goals and courses of action to attain desired outcomes.
Family Empowerment – IFS uses community support functions to identify needs and mobilize resources, enhance self-sufficiency, self-esteem, and self-attributions regarding the ability to deploy competence and a family’s sense of control over life events.