Continuum of Families Needing Primary and Secondary Prevention Services

Families are on a continuum of coping and need different types of services and interventions along that continuum. The following scale can help mandated reporters recognize how they can provide the type of help needed and prevent families from progressing along the continuum.

A Continuum of Family and Children’s Services
All Families
  • Advocacy
  • Income supports
  • Housing
  • Health care
  • Child care
  • Family centered work policies
  • Parent education
  • Development-enhancing education
  • Recreation
  • Family planning services
  • School-linked health and social services
  • Information and referral services
Low risk families needing
additional support/facing
minor challenges
  • Family support centers
  • Family resource programs
  • Home visiting programs
  • Family counseling
  • Parent aide services
  • Support groups
  • Services for single parents
At-risk families needing
specialized assistance/
facing serious challenges
  • Alcohol and drug treatment
  • Respite child care
  • Special health services
  • Special education services
  • Adolescent pregnancy/parenting services
  • Mental health services
  • Services for developmentally disabled and emotionally
  • disturbed children and their families
  • Child protective services
High risk families
in crisis or at risk of
children at serious risk
  • Child protective services
  • Intensive family preservation services
  • Services for chronically neglectful families
  • Services for runaway children and their families
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Domestic violence counseling
Families in which children
cannot be protected within
the home/needing
restorative services
  • Diagnostic centers
  • Foster family homes
  • Therapeutic foster homes
  • Group homes
  • Therapeutic group homes
  • Residential treatment centers
  • Reunification services
Families who cannot
be reunified
  • Adoption services
  • Independent living services
Source: The Future of Children, Volume 8. No. 1, Spring 1998 Center for the Future of Children, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.