4502. Intensive Family Preservation Services (IFPS), Family Preservation Services (FPS)

Service Definition

IFPS, authorized and described in RCW 74.14C.040, and FPS, authorized and described in RCW 74.14C.050, are family-focused, behavior-oriented, in-home counseling, and support programs available in most counties. The services of both programs may be utilized when youth are, for IFPS, at imminent, or for FPS at substantial, risk of placement or for children returning to the home from out-of-home care. See section 45023, below, for procedures to access IFPS and FPS.

  1. For IFPS, services begin within 24 hours of referral, are available 24 hours a day, are short-term, limited to a maximum of 40 days, unless paraprofessionals are used, in which case service is limited to a maximum of 90 days. The service can be up to 80 hours in a 30-40 day intervention or up to 100 hours in a 90 day intervention. Services include both clinical assistance (counseling, case management, parent education) and concrete help (See examples in Concrete Goods Guide). IFPS services are provided by contracted vendors and are available statewide.
  2. FPS begin within 48 hours of referral, are available 24 hours a day, and can be up to six months in duration. FPS is designed to be less intensive that IFPS, and interventions are focused on improving family functioning and assisting families with getting connected to local community resources. FPS are provided by contracted vendors and are available statewide.


  1. Families and children are eligible for IFPS and/or FPS when a child is in out-of-home placement and can be reunited within 30 days or the social worker has determined that, without intervention, the child, for IFPS, is at imminent risk of out-of-home placement or, for FPS, at substantial likelihood of being placed out-of-home due to at least one of the following:
    1. Child abuse or neglect.
    2. A serious threat of substantial harm to the child's health, safety, or welfare.
    3. Family conflict.
  2. The social worker need not refer otherwise eligible families and family preservation services need not be provided if at least one of the following conditions is met:
    1. The services are not available in the community in which the family resides.
    2. The services cannot be provided because the program is filled to capacity.
    3. The family refuses services. or
    4. The social worker or the service provider determines that the safety of a child, a family member, or persons providing the services would be unduly threatened.
  3. IFPS/FPS may not be used for families in need of an in-home crisis resolution or therapeutic service to avoid possible family disruption or foster care placement at some unspecified time in the future and is not to be used as an interim measure until a planned placement resource is secured.
  4. The family has a case open for service with CPS, FVS, FRS, or CFWS. The child must be either residing in the family home or be able to go home immediately, within 30 days, with IFPS.
  5. The child, for IFPS, has been assessed by the assigned social worker as needing immediate placement or, for FPS, will need placement in the future if family dynamics do not change or is already in placement but could return home immediately with IFPS.
  6. F. For IFPS, immediate placement means that the social worker is planning to file a petition with the juvenile court to remove the child from the family home within 72 hours or is planning to obtain a voluntary placement authorization from the child's parents (per 4307 Voluntary Placement Agreement (VPA) policy) within 72 hours.
  7. For FPS, substantial likelihood of placement means the assigned social worker has determined, through assessment, that there is a strong possibility that another injury or crisis will occur in the near future, resulting in the placement of the child, or the child is already in placement but could return home sooner with FPS.
  8. The Regional Administrator may limit the provision of IFPS or FPS to families where children would be receiving paid DCFS placement services.
  9. The social worker has determined that there are no less intensive services available that can meet the family need.
  10. An immediate opening with the contracted IFPS and/or FPS agency is available.

Procedures for Access

  1. Referrals for IFPS or FPS must come through DCFS. Contractors shall not accept referrals directly from families or other sources.
  2. The Regional Administrator or designee:
    1. Appoints a Gatekeeper for each office served by an IFPS or FPS provider. The IFPS/FPS Gatekeeper:
      1. Participates in a review or reviews all IFPS/FPS referrals to ensure conformance with eligibility requirements and the best use of the resource.
      2. Makes final department determinations of family eligibility for IFPS/FPS prior to referral to and intake by the service provider, rejecting all families for whom placement is not imminent or substantially likely.
      3. Facilitates the departmental review of all families entering placement for possible eligibility and referral to IFPS.
    2. Develops a written protocol with IFPS and FPS contractors governing the assessment of client eligibility, procedures for service referrals, approval of service extensions, and utilization of IFPS - Assessment and Aftercare Services.
    3. Distributes copies of the written protocol to IFPS/FPS Gatekeepers, Area Managers, supervisors, and all case carrying DCFS social workers.
    4. Works to ensure that IFPS and FPS eligibility determination and case referral practices in local offices are consistent with statutory and protocol requirements.
    5. Reports to the Assistant Secretary quarterly on the provision of IFPS and FPS in the region.
    6. Monitors payments against allotment and contract dollar limits.
    7. Monitors performance of contractors against standards set by the statement of work.
    8. Notifies contractors when there is a rate change and amend contracts as needed.
  3. The DCFS social worker:
    1. Identifies families who may be eligible for the service in accordance with regional procedures, including consultation with an internal or external team, a supervisor, or a designated IFPS/FPS Gatekeeper.
    2. Following referral, orally or in writing, per contract and regional procedure, supplies the contractor with referral information, release of which is permitted under RCW 13.50.100(3), that is as complete as possible and includes:
      1. Name and case numbers of family caretaker(s).
      2. Names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, and case numbers (if different) for all children at imminent risk of placement;
    3. File a written report with his/her supervisor stating the names of families referred and reasons for which the client was referred. The social worker's supervisor verifies in writing his/her belief that the family referred meets the eligibility criteria in section 45022(A), above. The supervisor reports monthly, through the Area Manager, to the Regional Administrator on the provision of these services. The Regional Administrator reports to the Assistant Secretary quarterly on the provision of these services for the entire region.
    4. Immediately opens payment on the Social Service Authorization, DSHS 14-154(A), utilizing SSPS codes at the time of authorization and sends a copy of the service authorization to the provider. The service termination date will not be entered until receipt of the service termination summary from the contractor.
    5. For FPS, receives a monthly statement from the provider and immediately processes the statement to generate a payment for services provided that month.
    6. During the delivery of contracted service, regularly consults with the IFPS or FPS contractor regarding the progress of the family.
    7. Immediately notifies the contractor if CPS referrals are received on the family.
    8. Participates in exit interviews with the IFPS/FPS therapist.
    9. Enters the service termination date on the Social Service Authorization upon receipt of the contractor's termination report, using the last date of client contact as the termination date. The authorization is immediately processed to generate a payment for services provided by the IFPS or FPS contractor.

Other Sources

Created on: Aug 25 2014

Components of DCFS funded IFPS/FPS exist in other service delivery systems in some communities, including the Regional Support Network (RSN) and DDD.