Across the country, Family Support and Strengthening organizations work with families in a multi-generational, family-centered approach to enhance parenting skills, foster the healthy development and well-being of children, youth, and families, prevent child abuse, increase school readiness, connect families to resources, develop parent and community leadership, engage males and fathers, support healthy marital and couples relationships, and promote family economic success.
Founded in 2011, the National Family Support Network (NFSN) is a membership-based organization comprised of statewide networks of two or more Family Support and Strengthening programs, such as Family Resource Centers, working together within a collective impact framework to ensure coordinated quality support for families. As the United States’ coordinating body for Family Strengthening & Support networks, the NFSN currently has 30 member networks, comprised of more than 3,000 Family Support and Strengthening organizations, representing the great geographical and demographic diversity of the nation.
The mission of the National Family Support Network is to promote positive outcomes for all children, families, and communities by leveraging the collective impact of state networks and championing quality family support and strengthening practices and policies.
The vision of the National Family Support Network is a nation in which every family is thriving and every state has a strong and effective Family Support and Strengthening Network.
In order to achieve this mission and vision, the NFSN focuses on three main areas of impact:
Connecting and convening member networks to enhance their effectiveness - Increasing connectedness amongst members for peer learning and mutual support through annual national convenings, webinars, monthly phone meetings, bi-monthly e-newsletters, and networking.
Promoting Family Support best practice and evaluation - Raising awareness of what quality Family Support is and promoting a common language, standards, and evaluation of it through the national implementation of the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support. These Standards are the first and only standards in the country to integrate and operationalize the Principles of Family Support Practice with the Strengthening Families Framework and its research-based evidence-informed 5 Protective Factors.
Raising the visibility of the value and impact of Family Support and Strengthening networks in order to strengthen and increase support for families nationally – Highlighting both the need to support and strengthen families nationally and the effective, skilled networks, organizations, and workforce needed to do so, including promoting the establishment of networks in states without them.