The Development of Living Skills: Building Healthier Families

In October, 2017, DLS presented a poster at the Ohio State Family & Consumer Sciences Conference. The poster was awarded the Most Innovative Program. The DLS staff presented and promoted our program to professional peers across the state.


Information included on poster:

Program Overview

 The Development of Living Skills Program (DLS) began in 1985 with a grant from the Butler County Children Service’s Levy.  The program is a comprehensive in-home educational intervention system designed for families at risk for child abuse and/or neglect.  The goal of the program is to build healthy families through teaching daily living skills to parents who are at risk. Through the intensive in-home, hands-on approach, families not only learn what is needed to keep their children out of the foster care system, but are also observed putting the learned skills into action. With this educational opportunity, families can break the cycle of displacement and dysfunction and provide a safe, nurturing home for their children to grow; impacting future generations.


Through our partnership with Butler County Children Services, families are referred by their caseworker.  Some families are court ordered while others volunteer for the program.


  • Educational lessons are presented weekly in the client’s home.
  • Core lessons are presented in Parenting and Child Development, Home Sanitation, Home Safety, Food and Nutrition, Money Management, Development of Personal Resources, Health and Hygiene, Conflict Management and Resolution.
  • Lesson plans are developed based on individual needs and parent/child interactions.
  • The majority of families complete the program in 5 to 6 months.
  • DLS Instructors provide documentation to caseworkers and the Butler County Juvenile Court that are used to evaluate the client’s progress.


The final evaluation method is the caseworker’s rating of how the DLS instructor assisted the family and/or BCCS.  Below is a ranking of the client’s adult life skill functioning as observed at beginning and end of services.

In 2016, fifty-three post evaluations were returned by Butler County Children Services caseworkers. Families that completed the program, showed improved scores in ten areas.