Family to Family Initiative

family shadow

Since 2000, Futures Without Violence, formerly Family Violence Prevention Fund has helped to significantly improve the response of the child welfare system to children and their families exposed to domestic violence. As a national leader in these efforts, Futures Without Violence has worked with every major child welfare reform effort, including The Family to Family Initiative (F2F) ,and other efforts that prioritize the safety of children exposed to domestic violence. In 2005, the Futures Without Violence began concentrated work on the F2F initiative, a program of the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

At its core, F2F applies four basic principles:

  • A child’s safety is paramount;
  • Children belong in families;
  • Families need strong communities; and
  • Public child welfare systems need partnerships with the community and with other systems to achieve strong outcomes for children.

The F2F model provides states and communities with an opportunity and the tools to redesign their child welfare system to establish:

  • A network of care that is neighborhood-based, culturally sensitive, and located where the children in need live;
  • Less reliance on institutional care, such as hospitals, shelters, correctional facilities, and group homes;
    An adequate number of foster families for any child who must, for safety reasons, be removed from the family home;
  • A team approach including foster care families; and
    Screening services to safely preserve the family while understanding the needs of the child.
  • In 2005, Futures Without Violence started with a needs assessment process by conducting a multi-site assessment. Through this process, we interviewed over 100 people including: TDM facilitators, fatherhood program staff, state domestic violence coalitions, attorneys, domestic violence programs, parents, foster care recruiters, child welfare administrators and front line staff. The groups were held at F2F sites in San Francisco, San Jose, Cleveland, Detroit and Colorado Springs.

The results of these focus groups were compiled into a Recommendations Report (PDF) and published in 2006. The major recommendations in the report were then synthesized into an application process for sites to apply for targeted technical assistance on how to address domestic violence within the core strategies of the F2F model. With the support of Annie E. Casey Foundation, we were able to select two sites in 2006/2007 to begin intensive training and technical assistance. The two sites are San Francisco County, CA and Macomb County, MI. Together with the sites, Futures Without Violence created a series of tools for CPS workers and Team Decision Making Facilitators to make better decisions for families who experience domestic violence and are involved in the child welfare system.

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