Family support services are community-based services that assist and support parents in their role as caregivers. Such services can take many different forms depending on the strengths and needs of the family, but their overarching goal is to help parents enhance skills and resolve problems to promote optimal child development. All families can benefit from support in some way; the principles of family support should be incorporated into casework across the child welfare service continuum.
Family support programs may address the general population or target particular groups, such as ethnic and cultural minorities; adolescent parents; kinship caregivers; or families facing health, mental health, or substance use issues. They can be comprehensive or focus on a specific goal.