Preservation and reunification for families of young children: case file review of a home-visiting program

Rebecca Giallo, Holly Rominov, Catherine Fisher, Kirsty Evans & Ali Fogarty - Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology



The Home Parenting Education and Support (HoPES) programme is a new intensive 8-week home-visiting intervention supporting the preservation and reunification of families with young children (aged 0–4 years) receiving child protection services following child abuse and/or neglect in Australia. The aims of the study were to (a) describe families who had participated in HoPES, (b) describe the key education content and support activities of the programme, and (c) identify the enablers and challenges in implementing HoPES.


Intensive home-based family preservation programs are designed to improve parenting skills, reduce specific abusive behaviours, and address child, parent and contextual risk factors for child maltreatment and its recurrence.


A casefile review and document analysis of 34 families who enrolled in HoPES was conducted.


Families enrolled in HoPES were experiencing significant parent and child risk factors for child maltreatment and recurrence. Despite challenges in supporting families experiencing many complex social health issues and stressful life circumstances, there was evidence of intervention tailoring and use of strengths-based approaches to meet the needs of families.


This casefile review gathered rich evidence to inform further development of a trauma informed and culturally sensitive intervention to support family preservation and reunification, and to guide the next stage of evaluation research to generate a more robust level of evidence.