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HOMEBUILDERS (Birth to Age 5)®

Program Model Overview

Last Updated

April 2011

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Theoretical Model

HOMEBUILDERS provides intensive, in-home crisis intervention, counseling, and life-skills education for families who have children at risk for placement in state-funded care. The model is built upon several core values and beliefs:

  • It is best for children to be raised by their own family whenever possible.
  • Safety is our highest priority.
  • Reducing barriers to service improves family outcomes.
  • Family members are our colleagues and partners.
  • Providing information and teaching skills empowers families to become self-sufficient.
  • We cannot predict which situations are most amenable to change.
  • It is our job to motivate families and instill hope.
  • All people have the ability to change.
  • A crisis is an opportunity for change.
  • We respect families for their diverse culture, ethnicity, and religious beliefs.
  • Family members do not usually intend to harm one another.
  • People are doing the best they can.
  • Inappropriate intervention can do harm.

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Program Model Components

HOMEBUILDERS employs several program components:

  • Intervention at the crisis point: Client families are seen within 24 hours of referral.
  • Treatment in the natural setting: Almost all services take place in the family’s home and community.
  • Accessibility and responsiveness: Therapists are on call to their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Research-based interventions: Therapists use research-based interventions, including crisis intervention, motivational interviewing, parent education, skill building, and cognitive/behavioral therapy.
  • Flexibility: Services are provided when and where the clients wish. Therapists provide a wide range of services, from helping clients meet the basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter to providing therapeutic techniques. Therapists teach families basic skills such as using public transportation systems, budgeting, and where necessary dealing with the social services system. They also educate families in areas more commonly associated with counseling, such as child development, parenting skills, anger management, other mood management skills, communication, and assertiveness.

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Target Population

HOMEBUILDERS targets families with children birth to age 17 that meet the following criteria:

  • At least one child is at imminent risk of out-of-home placement or is in placement and cannot be reunified without intensive in-home services.
  • The child could remain in the home and not be at risk of imminent harm if intensive in-home services were provided.
  • At least one parent is willing to meet with the HOMEBUILDERS therapist.
  • The family is available to participate in an intensive, four- to six-week intervention.
  • Less intensive services would not sufficiently reduce the risk of placement or facilitate reunification, are unavailable, or have been exhausted.
  • If a child is referred for reunification, the child will be returned to the family within seven days of the start of services.

For the purposes of the HomVEE review, this profile is based on developer recommendations and studies of programs that target children from birth to age 5.

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Where to Find Out More

The Institute for Family Development
Main Office and Training Division:
34004 16th Ave South, Suite 200
Federal Way, WA 98003-8903
253-874-3630 Seattle
253-927-1550 Tacoma
253-838-1670 FAX

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