Advocate for Policy Change
Raising the voices of lived experience helps parents heal and kids thrive. Together with advocates from across the United States, from Washington State and Arizona to Maine, from Florida to Tennessee and Connecticut, parents like you make their voices heard. Be part of our bipartisan movement. Be part of the solution. Here's how we inform change.
Family Forward Project
Family Forward Advocacy CT is part of a Grassroots National Movement. Together with advocates from across the U.S., we work with lawmakers, at the state and federal levels, to focus on reforming the U.S. Child Welfare System and its intersections with other child-serving systems.
Our work informed the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018.
Family First Prevention Services Act Legislation
Lobby efforts began in 2016. Passage of the Bill came on February 9th, 2018. States all across the country are in various stages of developing their state plans and implementing reform.
CT DCF's FFPSA Plan Receives Approval as reported by NBC
Trend Child - Family First Act changes child welfare financing landscape
Children's Defense-Historic Reforms for Child Welfare
CT DCF Family First Planning
CT DCF Plan Approval Release
Policy Advocacy History
Family Forward advocates started out as a grassroots advocacy movement. Our initial goal was to change child welfare's role in accessing complex need care for kids with significant trauma histories. We sought to take the "parent policing" culture out of accessing child mental health care and intensive psychiatric treatment and services. Our work to expand awareness around the impact of early childhood trauma and the loss of biological parents on young children, support family integrity, and support parents raising kids with high Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) has changed how Connecticut's systems serve families.
Our Family Forward ACTion Team of professional and experienced parents, all with complimentary skill sets, work to fix flawed child-serving systems in CT. At the federal level, we align with other groups working to reform CPS systems that harm healthy families by leading reform efforts around child welfare and family court systems, expand kinship rights in child welfare matters and keep more kids safe at home. FFACT partners with other advocacy organizations, and with lawmakers willing to listen and entertain our platform.
In concert with the Family Forward Foundation, a national nonprofit whose mission is to Endorse the Right to Parent in America, FFACT established itself as a credible voice at advocacy and oversight tables in Connecticut and informed legislation in Washington D.C. The Family First Prevention Services Act ('18) is our crowning achievement at the federal level and CT DCF moving its underserving Voluntary Services program for complex need kids out of its child protection services are our biggest achievements to date.
FFACT focuses on raising awareness around the impact of early childhood trauma on kids, the value of early access to appropriate trauma competent treatment and supports, supporting parents in intentional ways, and spotlighting what happens to families and society when our nation fails its task.
Support Our Policy Reform Work
Connecticut Special Act 17-6
Study Voluntary Admission to DCF Task Force
In 2017, FFACT was the energy behind CT'sSA 17-6 An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study Voluntary Admission to the DCF. Although the Task Force never convened, focus on the issue of trading custody for care shifted minds. Trading custody (and decision-making authority by way of a neglect petition) to access complex need care through both voluntary (coerced) and involuntary (court-ordered) process, harms kids and destroys families. Our lobby efforts and generated media exposure kept this practice in the public eye leading to change.
CT's Department of Children and Families shifted its Voluntary Services Program out of its core services and "parent policing" model of family engagement. It is now administered by Beacon Health Options as Voluntary Care Management and informed by a "How can we help?" approach.
Learn more at Voluntary Care Management
Support our state advocacy work.
Family First Prevention Services Act
Federal Legislation Passed Feb. 2018
The first foster care financing bill in over 20-years, the FFPSA aims to support family integrity, strengthen families and kinship placements, and prevent kids at risk of child welfare involvement from going into foster care. Mental health care access is one of those areas of focus. States are currently developing implementation plans, strategies, and service delivery array to comply with this law.
Learn more about targetted outcomes at: