Programs that provide a wide variety of social services that are designed to support the healthy development of families, improve family interaction skills and help fragile families to resolve their problems at a pre-crisis stage before they become unmanageable. Services may be centre-based or provided on an outreach basis to families who are initially reluctant to seek support and generally target the specific needs of a particular community. Included may be self-sufficiency programs which help families break the cycle of poverty by addressing the barriers to self-sufficiency; early child development and school success programs; programs which address the needs of teen parents; programs which target parents at risk for becoming abusive; programs for families with children who have special developmental needs and programs that focus on the maternal and child health care needs of first-time, expectant women whose babies are at high risk for low birth weight and infant mortality.
Programs that provide regularly scheduled opportunities for parents to participate in a wide variety of recreational, arts and cultural activities with their youngsters. The experience provides a means for developing close family relationships at a stage in the child's life when quality time with their mother or father is essential for healthy development, and exposure to music, storytelling and similar pastimes can stir a child's imagination and spark their creativity. Other programs may focus on reading, games and early learning activities.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.