The organization developed a multidisciplinary program, tailored to each family, called Plano de Ação Familiar-PAF (Family Action Plan). PAF's goal is to restructure families and enable them to reach a level of self-sustainability by improving conditions of healthcare, family income, housing, education and citizenship.
Volunteers perform triage of all released children at hospitals, searching for the high risk children (those extremely poor, from families under very strained conditions). Mothers go through a thorough interview, where they are asked about family income, family habits, education of children, and living conditions. Soon after the interview, Saúde Criança representatives visit the family house, and document and evaluate their living conditions.
The organization offers direct assistance to their program members, providing food, medicines, medical equipment, and housing (rebuild/improve rental houses, or provide new houses). As part of the program, technical support is also provided, including psychological and psychiatric help, nutrition, legal advice and social assistance. Families are also signed for professional training that would enable them to start working, and are offered recreational programs.
Each month 1,000 families are assisted through all Saúde Criança franchises. The average cost of the program for each family is R$615 (US$362). Since 1991, 2,958 families have been assisted, 2,644 professional education courses have been offered. It is estimated that since the implementation of Saúde Criança activities, the average income of these families has increased by 32%, and expenditures with re-admissions at public hospitals dropped by 66%.
The organization estimates that 60% of the families complete their family plan. Around 35% of families, after receiving some benefits, find other jobs or move away and end the program. Only 3% are disconnected from the program for lack of compliance and 3% are disconnected due to special cases (death or others).