Family Connections at Baltimore (FCB) is an agency of the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UM SSW) Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS).
FCB began in 1996, when Drs. Diane DePanfilis and Howard Dubowitz developed the Family Connections intervention model to provide research-based in-home early intervention services, grounded in neglect prevention science, for families living in Baltimore, Maryland. Since that time there have been a number of replications and modifications of the FC model and FCB has engaged in a variety of service interventions, research activities, teaching and learning collaboratives, including initiatives that inform policy development.
Family Connections-Baltimore has a strong relationship with University of Maryland School of Social Work Title IV-E Education Public Child Welfare Program. The graduate interns placed at FCB will be better prepared for strengths-based careers in child welfare.
Title IV-E training includes:
- introduction to the FCB model of practice,
- training in the use of the management information system (MD CHESSIE),
- documentation standards and practice, and
- development of comprehensive assessment and goal-oriented service plans.
Through Family Connections-Baltimore, interns have the opportunity participate in other career preparation events to grow a strengths-based practice.
- FCB has provided services to 1,094 families
- with at least 3,276 children, and
- has had 213 graduate level social work interns, including Title IV-E students, placed at the program.
The student interns are trained to use observation instruments and client self report instruments in formulization of comprehensive assessments and implementation of clinical data into practice endeavors.
Weekly seminars continue throughout the school year lead by staff and faculty, including topics such as Foundations of Practices, Dynamics of Child Abuse and Neglect, Working Effectively with the Court, Conducting Family Centered Assessments, and Planning and Intervening with a Family.
Additional seminar topics:
- Individual and family resilience and response to trauma was also presented with an emphasis on neglect and complex developmental trauma with specific implications for practice.
- Motivational Interviewing
- professional development
Interns learn to interview a standardized client with live supervision to enhance the their ability to utilize the FCB model. Interns receive immediate feedback from the instructors as well as from the standardized client in order to understand the impact that this evidence-based approach has on clients. Reference to Motivational Interviewing skills continues throughout the school year placement as they are integrated with other intervention strategies.
Family Connections Baltimore, a program of the University of Maryland School of Social Work Ruth H. Young Center for Families and Children, develops, implements, and tests community-based family strengthening services that empower vulnerable families to achieve their safety, well-being, and stability. The program is committed to educating social work and other professionals to use evidence-based models of practice.