In 1980, the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act passed (P. 96-272), which required child protection services (CPS) to make "reasonable efforts" to prevent children from being placed into foster care. From this law, human services agencies and child protection agencies began to focus on the development of family preservation services (FPS). The emphasis of FPS, cumulated in 1993 in the Family Preservation and Support Act, which encouraged states to begin or further develop FPS by providing funds. "By the mid-1990s, most states had passed some form of legislation requiring the provision of preventivite child welfare services.closely reflecting the Homebuilders model" (Linblad, Dore and Stern, 1998, pg. 14-15).
The Homebuilders model "is based on a crisis intervention theory, social systems theory and social learning theory" (Linblad et al. 1998, pg. 15). Their goal is to "add resources to relieve pressure and to facilitate the development of a safe, nurturing environment for children within the context of family" (Kinney, Haapala, and Booth, 1991, pg 3). There are different models of FPS, although many recognize the Homebuilders model as the prototypical family preservation service, yet all models have five characteristics in common in order for them to be classified as FPS.
First family preservation services are crisis oriented. "Crisis theory postulates that when people go through periods of high stress, their regular coping mechanisms break down, leaving them open to change in either a positive or negative direction." Families that are referred for FPS, are usually experiencing the possibility of their child/children being removed from the home by CPS or the environment of the home is so hostile that the parent is refusing to let the child/children live with them, or the child is running away. (Kinney et al. 1991, pg 15) FPS also has an emphasis on family strengths, and is family centered.