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Family Preservation and Engagement

Family preservation and engagement are core concepts when working with children and families.  In Thornwell’s Strengthening Families Program, we focus on helping children and caregivers to strengthen the bond they have through the development of positive discipline practices, sticking together through hard times, communication skills, and learning new parenting techniques.  Parents and children alike learn how to have fun together again.  They develop a network of families that they relate to so they don’t feel alone in their parenting journey.   Parenting can be difficult, and we want families to stay together and remain together.  The Strengthening Families program offers coaching and someone to stand by their side while they learn new ways to interact with their children.

In addition to Strengthening Families, family preservation is an integral part of the Attachment-based Care model in our residential program.  Caregivers who seek placement for their children are part of families that have tried many techniques, therapies, interventions, and a number of other services to try to keep their family intact. By the time they make the decision to place their child, they are at a very difficult life change for their family, and they need support.  Thornwell offers these families the opportunity to participate in monthly meetings to review their child’s progress.  As children make gains and learn how to regulate their own emotions, caregivers are brought in for visits, family therapy, training participation, or parent coaching.  At Thornwell, we seek to find the solution for the individual family’s needs, and that may vary depending on the child’s and family’s experience. Families may opt to participate in the Hope for the Journey conference.  This yearly event is presented by professionals who work in trust-based relational intervention.  The conference also features couples who have adopted children.  These adoptive parents share their family’s journey through adoption.

Thornwell’s Foster Care program works with children placed in Thornwell foster homes.  In this program, a vast majority of children return to their caregivers or relatives.  During their time in foster care, foster parents help children learn healthy attachment.  Foster parents are provided Trust Based Relational Intervention tools to help children heal from trauma.  They learn what it means to live in a safe home, free from abuse and neglect.  When a child is preparing for reunification, they understand what it means to be in a nurturing environment.  They have learned to use their voice to get their needs met. Children want to be with their families, and we want them to be with their families in a safe and secure manner.  Foster parents who partner with biological families to work on reunification together are doing some of the most important work in the lives of the children we have the privilege to help heal.

The Building Families program at Thorwell provides a clinical therapy service to families seeking support.  A Building Families clinician is trained to help families identify areas to improve their functioning through individual and family therapy services.  Building Families clinicians can also offer group parenting series and workshops to help support the communities that they serve.  If you have a family, know a family, or are a family that needs individual care in your home or via telehealth, the Building Families program may be what you need to get your family engaged and functioning at the optimal level.  People who select Building Families prefer a hands-on approach that meets their individual family needs.

To speak with a thought leader in family preservation and engagement, please contact Thornwell’s Media Relations Team below.


Addie Sheek

Director of Marketing and Communications

Boe Baker

Content Development Manager

Kaley Lindquist

Program Marketing and Recruitment Specialist

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