SOFT

Counseling Solutions contracts with Butte County Children's Services Division to provide supportive services to parent(s) who have had their children removed from their home, and have successfully completed all requirements to have their children returned to their care. The SOFT program provides support during the first 6 months following the reunification of parents with their children. Counseling Solutions' Case Managers provide In-Home Case Management and weekly Advanced Parenting Groups designed to address specific parenting needs utilizing the Nurturing Parenting® curriculum with an emphasis on parenting during recovery. Counseling Solutions begins SOFT services by coordinating a Transition Meeting case conference for families referred by Children Services Division. The initial meeting is designed to include all involved family members and support network individuals who can be a resources the family as the family transitions to living together as a family again. During the meeting a strength based assessment is completed and action plan is created to help clarify the family strengths, needs and resources for all family member as they make this vital transition. Due to the fact that all parents in the SOFT program have experienced the Parent Support Groups and Nurturing Parenting ® Classes, a collaborative relationship has already been developed. On-going support focuses on strengthening each family's individual support network through the ongoing support of the In-Home Case Manager as well as the Advanced Parenting Classes provided through the SOFT program. Family assessment and goal evaluations are ongoing. After approximately two months of home visits and group attendance in the SOFT program, in-home visits are reduced and formal contact begins to taper off. This gradual transition is designed to encourage families to gain more independence, while providing regular information, resources and support. Additional concrete supports, known as "flexible funding" are also available to some SOFT program participants. Funds have been provided to assist families to overcome barriers to successful reunification such as help with court fines, drivers' license reinstatement, and general maintenance and car repair. Flexible funding is limited, therefore, each Case Manager works with family members to assess existing available community resources which can help needy families. Flexible funds are utilized to assist families to become self-sufficient and not to encourage further dependence upon public assistance. Counseling Solutions employs the saying, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime".