The resident, family, and organization work together to determine and maintain an optimal level of family connection and involvement in treatment activities.
Interpretation: When organizations adopt a philosophy that family attachments are of primary importance for human development professional staff will strive to develop a common understanding and functional definition of “family.” This perspective, consistent with the flexible description of family reunification advanced over the last decade in professional child welfare literature, promotes positive connections at an appropriate level, as circumstances warrant, rather than “reunified” or “not reunified” perspective. When a family centered perspective is applied, care is taken to ask the resident about any individuals considered to be family members, including those related by kinship or affection, or by law, custom or their acknowledgement, including current or former foster family, adoptive family or extended family members. Adults can have important supportive relationships with friends and individuals who are surrogate family members.
The organization helps every resident to:
Interpretation: Unless contraindicated, residents have the opportunity to visit their family at home and receive visits from family and friends. The organization will not permit withholding of family contact, restrictions on, or cancellation of visits for disciplinary reasons. For adults, and some young adults in residential treatment centers, every attempt should be made to include family members such as a spouse, siblings, children, parents, and/or significant others identified by the adult resident. In cases where the adult resident does not want family involvement the resident receives help to identify friendship opportunities based on common interests.
Regarding element e.), planned visitation is a therapeutic, educational child welfare intervention to advance the goals of the service recipient and family member or support person, and is a positive alternative to visits that primarily satisfy a documentation requirement. Therapeutically managed visits afford opportunities for guided and facilitated parent-child interaction related to placement, treatment and family relationship issues that support on-going family connections and, possibly, family reunification efforts.
Engagement activities support the development and maintenance of a therapeutic partnership with family members that, when possible, precedes, continues throughout, and follows the resident’s stay.
The organization supports active family member or legal guardian participation:
Interpretation: Family members and significant others, as appropriate and with the consent of the individual, are advised of the need for and specific aims of treatment and care, ongoing progress, and their role in case conferences.
When services cannot be provided close to a person’s home, the organization facilitates maintenance of family ties, and involvement of the family in service planning and delivery, by:
Interpretation: The organization should attempt to accept individuals who live nearby to allow frequent family contact. The organization must support family involvement and provide alternative services through cooperating local organizations. Transportation costs should be paid to facilitate frequent visiting and home visits. Documented exceptions can be made in situations that meet special needs and when family involvement is contraindicated.