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Promoting Safe & Stable Families (PSSF)

The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (PSSF) is designed to assist children and families resolve crises, connect with necessary and appropriate services, and remain safely together in their own homes whenever possible. This program helps more than 15,000 children and families each year. Services are provided to meet the following objectives:

  • Prevent or eliminate the need for out-of-home placements of children
  • Promote family strength and stability
  • Enhance parental functioning
  • Protect children
  • Assess and make changes in state and local service delivery systems

Applying for Funding

Promoting Safe and Stable Families funds may be provided through local public or private agencies, or individuals, or any combination of resources. Receipt of the funding is based upon approval by the state of individual community plans that are developed from comprehensive community-based needs assessments.


Tools & Job Aids

Services Available

  • Family Preservation:
    Help families alleviate crises that might lead to out-of-home placements of children because of abuse, neglect, or parental inability to care for their children. These services help maintain the safety of children in their own homes, support families preparing to reunify or adopt, and assist families in obtaining other services to meet multiple needs.

  • Family Support:
    Voluntary, preventive activities to help families nurture their children. These services are designed to alleviate stress and help parents care for their children's well-being before a crisis occurs. They connect families with available community resources and supportive networks which assist parents with child rearing. Family support activities include respite care for parents and care givers, early development screening of children to identify their needs, tutoring health education for youth, and a range of center-based activities. Services often are provided at the local level by community-based organizations.

  • Time-limited Family Reunification:
    Facilitate a reunification of the child safely and appropriately within a timely fashion, but only during the 15-month period that begins on the date that the child is considered to have entered foster care. Services are for the child and the parents or primary care giver. Such services may include individual, group, and family counseling; inpatient, residential, or outpatient substance abuse treatment services; mental health services; assistance to address domestic violence; services designed to provide temporary child care and therapeutic services for families, including crisis nurseries; and transportation to or from any of the services.

  • Adoption Promotion and Support:
    Encourage adoption from the foster care system, when adoptions promote the best interests of children, including such activities as pre and post adoptive services and activities designed to expedite the adoption process and support adoptive families.

Accessing Services

PSSF funding is flexible, however, because localities develop a plan for its use based on a Community Needs Assessment, you must call the locality Community Management and Planning Team (CPMT) or the local department of social services for information about its PSSF services.

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(deaf or hard-of-hearing):

(800) 828-1120, or 711