The Family Check-Up (FCU) is a strengths-based, family-centered intervention that promotes family management and parent skill enhancement and addresses child and adolescent adjustment problems. This intervention is currently in use across multiple clinics and schools in Eugene and Portland and has been researched for several decades at the Prevention Science Institute (PSI). The FCU intervention is successful at improving school performance and behavioral issues, decreasing childhood depression, reducing adolescent substance use, and increasing positive parenting.
Following the success of FCU, led by Dr. Beth Stormshak, researchers at PSI began to explore how FCU might be adapted to increase access for families. This led to the creation of Family Check-Up Online (FCU Online). FCU Online expanded the delivery of FCU from clinic or home-based settings led by family consultants to a parent-driven online tool with family consultants functioning as coaches. The FCU Online can be delivered to a much broader audience, particularly rural and underprivileged families where access to services may be difficult.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home guidelines disrupted family services typically delivered in person, we have expanded the reach of the FCU Online and continued to bring strength-based, family-centered interventions to families and communities. The proactive development of FCU Online prior to the sudden need created by the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a readily available research-based tool. Family consultants were able to immediately use the FCU Online to support families under tremendous stress. Delivering the intervention online has allowed us to reach and serve families outside of the Eugene and Springfield area, where traveling long distances to the clinic previously would have been prohibitory for most families. The successful use of FCU Online in Oregon communities has led to an expanded vision of how online tools can be used to serve families during the COVID-19 pandemic and far into the future.