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Parent Support Outreach
Early intervention initiative helps
Many reports of possible child maltreatment are received by county and tribal social services but are “screened out” from further action because the reported incident does not reach the legal standard of abuse or neglect. In many of these cases, however, there are factors that put children at potential risk. The Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) works to help these children and their families, and to avert future incidents of child maltreatment. In all 87 Minnesota counties and in the White Earth and Leech Lake Reservations, PSOP provides early intervention, outreach and supportive services to families with at least one child under age 10 who are “screened-out” from the child protection system or are otherwise at risk.
The PSOP informational brochure explains more.
Program is voluntary
One of the key aspects of PSOP is that participation by families is voluntary. PSOP workers are skilled in family engagement and collaboration techniques. Families with two or more risks associated with child abuse and neglect who are responsible for the care of at least one child age 10 or younger are eligible for PSOP services. Risk factors include but are not limited to:
Nearly 50 percent of families contacted agree to meet with a PSOP worker and accept services. In these meetings, the PSOP worker conduct comprehensive assessments families needs and strengths, and together with the families makes decisions about what services or community-based resources can be accessed to support the families.
Family Group Decision Making is also available to many of these families, to assist them in developing or deepening supportive relationships with extended family members and other informal supports. Referrals are frequently made to community-based supports such as food shelves, free or low-cost clothing programs, free health clinics, and child development screening services.
Most referrals for PSOP come from:
Direct self-referrals and community referrals to the local county or tribal social services agency. Concert into sentence. Because PSOP is not an entitlement program, services are available based on available state and local funding.
The Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) offers voluntary, supportive, strengths-based, family-driven services to families who are identified to be at risk to prevent child maltreatment form occurring. In addition, PSOP:
Research findings identify positive outcomes for families
As part of its pilot project, the Institute of Applied Research conducted an intensive study of the impact of PSOP in the counties where it was instituted. The final report, Minnesota Parent Support Program Evaluation (PDF), found that families with high levels of need related to poverty or to chemical dependency, and that received services targeted to those issues, were less likely to have a subsequent accepted report in the child protection system than families with similar identified problems but who received no services. The research also showed that those counties with high levels of PSOP implementation had greater reduction of screened in child maltreatment reports in the final two years of the pilot program than counties that had a low level of implementation or than counties that did not offer PSOP at all.
Additional PSOP resources:
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