The roots of family preservation / reunification can be traced back to the 1900’s with ‘friendly home visitors’. In 1909, President Theodore Roosevelt convened the first White House Conference of Dependent Children. The importance of maintaining children in their own homes was reflected in the annual report of the Children’s Aid Society in 1923:
“There is a well-established conviction on the part of social workers that no child should be taken from his natural parents until everything possible has been done to build up the home into what an American home should be. Even after a child has been removed, every effort should be continued to rehabilitate the home and when success crowns one’s efforts, the child should be returned.”
PRN for Families was founded and developed in December 2003 by Charles Elias, owner and operator of the program.
Charles has a long history and interest in providing family preservation services. Back in 1988, while in graduate school at University of Denver, he undertook an independent study focused on implementing the family preservation model with families on welfare. Charles received formal training through the Homebuilders program, now part of the Institute for Family Development, Federal Way, Washington.
Charles was motivated to design and implement this program following his three-year tenure working as a field therapist in a reputable wilderness program. He was diligent in tracking his clients and quickly learned that there was a significant gap in services during a student’s transition from a wilderness setting back to their home environment. As a result he was eager to develop the tools and resources to enable students and their families to have a seamless transition home.
Our mission is to reach out to families in their own homes in order to empower family members with the tools, resources and support they need to safely stay together.
Preservation, Reunification & Networking for Families, or PRN for Families, is a family outreach program that provides home-based preservation and reunification services to safely keep families together. Charles has evolved this well-grounded model to serve youth and families of today. The provision of these services is available to any eligible child and family system in the United States.