How Do We Get Started?

The Helping Families Initiative is a program of the Alabama Legislature and Volunteers of America Southeast. To learn more about the HFI program, contact:

John M. Tyson, Jr.




What Personnel Are Involved?

The personnel structure of HFI sites is contingent on the number of students and families to be served and the existing resources of the judicial circuit, school districts, and the community. Each HFI site has a Team Leader and Case Officer(s). In smaller sites, the Team Leader may also serve as the HFI Case Officer.

What is the HFI Infrastructure?

HFI personnel report to the District Attorney in each judicial circuit. HFI personnel consist of a Team Leader and Case Officers. 

The Team Leader coordinates the efforts of HFI and is responsible for liaison with participating school districts and community agencies. The Team Leader also schedules and leads the multi-agency meetings that are convened to provide community services for students and families. The Team Leader is also responsible for the initial direct communication from the District Attorney with students and their families.

Case Officers provide outreach and direct services to students and their families. Case Officers may conduct a family needs assessment, monitor student and family progress, and provide logistical support for the HFI team.

What Sort of Support Can We Get?

HFI sites receive support from the HFI state office. This support includes training in the use of the HFI model; administration, scoring and analysis of family assessment instruments; development and technical support the HFI statewide computer hardware and software; and, ongoing support for day to day operational issues.

How Much Does HFI Cost?

Each HFI site requires one Case Officer Unit (COU) for every 6,000 students. Each COU costs approximately $70,000. This COU cost includes staff, travel, office supplies, and technology (hardware and software). 

For example, a school system with a student enrollment of 12,000 students would require two COUs at a cost of $140,000.


All other support costs are borne by the State Support Team.