Department of Human Services

Families First Online Policy Manual

Family Services Counseling




Table of Contents


Family Services Counseling is generally used as a Families First support service tailored to address the specific concerns or problems of an individual client and/or the family.  The purpose of Family Services Counseling (FSC) is to provide supportive help to clients who are not making progress and to those who may have barriers to their progress.  In addition, Family Services Counseling will help the caseworkers, client reps, and/or FF work activity contractors who may be struggling with situations where clients are not making progress or not following through with the requirements of Families First.  Family Services Counseling will provide immediate assistance to clients struggling with issues related to any of the following:


·        Mental health.


·        Domestic violence.


·        Substance abuse.


·        Learning disabilities.


·        Children’s health or behavioral problems.


Family Services Counseling can help with a range of services that may make the path to self-sufficiency easier for some clients.  Family Services Counseling includes:


·        A preliminary assessment.


·        An in-depth assessment, if needed.


·        A family assessment.


·        Individual and family counseling.


·        Advocacy.


·        Follow-up.


·        Referrals and access to treatment facilities or other appropriate services.


·        Access to treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.


·        Access to treatment for mental health disorders.


·        Access to domestic violence shelters and counseling resources.


·        Access to services for help with learning disabilities.

·        Identification of multiple and co-existing barriers.


·        Services to children.


Family Services Counseling is available to all Families First assistance units that contain an eligible adult, who faces any of the issues listed above.  This includes both individuals who are required to work and individuals who are exempt from the work requirement.  Children can also receive Family Services Counseling. 


Family Services counselors from local mental health, treatment, and/or counseling programs will be available to all county offices and to all work activity contractors.  Some counselors may cover more than one county, making them available to each county on a rotating basis.


All Families First assistance units must be informed of the availability and content of Family Services Counseling. 



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