Family Preservation Services (FPS) focuses on developing community-based services that vary based on the individual community’s needs. These include services for children and adolescents, adults, and families, all of which address needs and concerns in psychiatric care, substance misuse, trauma, mental health, or behavior. The services range from group therapy, prosocial skills development, individual and family psychotherapy, to art therapy and parent support and education.
The settings in which FPS provides this wide array of services are as unique as the families they serve. From intensive in-home services and therapeutic day treatments to outpatient counseling and crisis intervention, FPS excels at meeting families where they are. Their goal is to best serve the family’s needs, according to the strengths of the family and existing community resources, in combination with the expertise provided by the FPS staff.
FPS, which is recognized by the National Council on Behavioral Health as a Trauma-Informed Organization, approaches all of this with a Trauma-Informed Care perspective “that emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors while creating opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment” (https://fpscorp.com/about).
Multi-systemic Therapy is an evidence-based program, an ecological approach, which can sometimes appear contrary to “common” knowledge, according to Alexia Rosen, Regional Director for the Winchester, Staunton, and Covington districts. For example, if a teen is perceived as having a substance use disorder, the initial reaction of most people is to get them into a treatment program. That is not, however, what FPS does.
Alexia explained, “We’re still going to meet with the parents, we’re still going to work on their environment, we’re still going to work on how they are getting the drugs. [We’re going to focus on] getting them positive peer interactions, getting them involved in pro-socials. The more often we get kids involved in positive activities, the less likely they are to use drugs.” She said most kids do not have an actual addiction to overcome, but if FPS staff find that is the case, they do treat the substance use disorder.
The focus on the environment, social skills, and community engagement are a result of FPS’s founding mission to keeping kids in their community. Alexia noted that kids sent to juvenile detention or put into outpatient group therapy for drug use often make the contacts they need to increase their use. Focusing on improving their home life, and developing skills in coping, decision-making, problem-solving, and communicating, among others, have a far more positive and long-lasting impact.
Because FPS tailors what they offer based on the needs and resources within the community, the organization is continuously evaluating the needs of the community and adjusting the programs. “What we were doing when I joined FPS in 2007 and what we do now are totally different,” Alexia said. “We have our same agenda, but how we do it or what services we’ve added or what we’ve decreased in, has changed.”
Alexia is a strong believer in community service and involvement, a value she has worked to instill in her employees. In addition to being an active supporter of the Coalition, she and her team participate in community events such as the Suicide Prevention Walk hosted by Shenandoah University. That focus is one of the many reasons she is currently serving as the president of the Warren Coalition.
“We’ve been invested in Warren County since way before I was a part of FPS,” Alexia said. “I think it’s important to be a part of Warren Coalition because of how it helps our community.”