(Short-term Therapeutic Outreach to Prevent Placement)
STOPP® is a high impact short term service which has proven it can keep children safe in their own homes despite multiple challenges. We work to address multiple challenges in the home which imperil children. We will always err on the side of child safety by recommending children’s removal when necessary. STOPP® has demonstrated that it can successfully intervene amidst profound challenges including drug abuse, severe hygiene issues, impending eviction or homelessness, and others.
STOPP® is highly proactive and our staff are in the home within 3 hours, of a referral 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Caseworkers typically refer to STOPP® when they are one phone call away from removing children from the home. We respond to emergency situations including family violence, drug overdoses, suicidal threats or other aberrant and threatening behavior. We take precautions to assure the safety of our staff including de-escalation and other training, and teaming when warranted.
After initial contact, we conduct a thorough family assessment within 72 hours which results in the creation of the Treatment Plan Goal Report. The Treatment Plan Goal Report includes an outline of goals and expectations for all family members. Our staff spends 6 or more hours a week in direct contact with the family. We are in the home and not only identify community resources, we help the family access them. We will pick up a family and transport them to an appointment and wait with them to make sure they don’t wander off.
We are in touch with families daily. If children or adults have been placed outside the home, staff maintains contact with that family member, and the Intervention Plan focuses on their return with appropriate supports to maintain safety and avoid future crises. We utilize a variety of techniques including traditional family therapy, evidenced based practices, behavioral management and focus on resolving systemic problems (employment, living conditions, mental health & substance abuse, etc.) by using a broad array of community resources.
In addition to professional agencies, we also identify and formalize extended kinship contacts and neighbors who can play a positive role in keeping families safe and intact. All of these resources are documented in a final aftercare plan at the conclusion of STOPP®. STOPP® typically lasts 60 days, and often Children & Youth caseworkers ask us to step-down to a lower intensity of care.