Family to Family has worked for 14 years to change child welfare systems, most recently by advocating for more children to remain safely with their own families or a family-like connection. But even then, emergency situations arise where out-of-home care is necessary.
At its core, Family to Family 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 Family to Family 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.