Promising Practices Program

Administering Organization

International Institute of Metropolitan St. Louis

Program Name

Family Crisis Intervention

Program Objectives and Unique Needs Addressed

Family Crisis Intervention aims to address urgent crisis situations as needs arise, through family empowerment, linkage to community resources, and counseling.

Program Description

Caseworkers and social workers involved in both direct services and case management refer families for crisis intervention. Intervention is tailored to address the unique individual situation and needs of each family. Intervention staff meet with the family during the immediate crisis, involving community resources for family support and assistance. Family crisis situations typically include intergenerational issues, child abuse and neglect, school issues, family violence, status violations, or other juvenile offenses. Interpreters are utilized and staff accompany clients through any community referral processes.

Resource Materials Used in Program

Groups Served by Program

Primary funding covers any refugee family in the U.S. less than five years. A small amount of United Way funding allows us to serve those here more than five years, and also immigrant families.

Program Funding

The program receives Targeted Assistance Formula funds (a state grant originating with the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement), and United Way supplemental funds.

Program Staffing and Required Staff Training

Program staff comprises seven caseworkers and one social worker.

Caseworkers are trained on the job. The social worker holds an MSW, with special coursework in family issues. All staff undergo continuing education, including special training in working with cases of child abuse and neglect, family acculturation issues, family violence, etc.

Program Evaluation

Traditional evaluative tools are difficult to administer to refugee clients. As indicators of success, staff use the duration of a crisis and intervention, the frequency of crisis situations, known behavior changes, and contacts with the legal system.

Program Outcomes

Staff worked with the St. Louis City Division of Family Services on 50 reported child abuse or neglect situations, assisted in obtaining 30 orders of protection, and secured psychiatric support in 15 mental health commitments.

Additional Comments

Program Contact

P. Ariel Burgess, MSW

Program Dates

The program began in February 1997. The Institute no longer has a designated program for family crisis intervention.  However, the social work department continues to see families and individuals in crisis.  Some of the services the social work department provides includes parenting information, communications skills, domestic violence interventions and referrals.