STANDARDS OF QUALITY FOR
FAMILY STRENGTHENING & SUPPORT
• What does it mean to be a quality Family Strengthening and Support Program?
• What common language can we use for working effectively with families?
• How can Programs use the Standards to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion?
Click to register and download a free copy of the 2021 version of the Standards.
The nationally-adopted Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support are designed to be used by all stakeholders – public departments, foundations, networks, community based organizations, and families - as a tool for planning, providing, and assessing quality practice. The Standards have created a common language across different kinds of Family Strengthening and Family Support programs such as Family Resource Centers, home visiting programs, and child development programs.
The Standards uniquely integrate and operationalize the Principles of Family Support Practice and the Strengthening Families Framework and Approach with its research-based evidence-informed 5 Protective Factors. The vision is that their implementation will help ensure that families are supported and strengthened through quality practice.
The revised version of the Standards, issued in March 2021, reflects an enhanced focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion and addressing community conditions that impact families’ healthy development.
On the Webinar Wednesdays page, you can view a recording of a Standards Overview webinar or sign up for the next live one held on the second Wednesday of each month.
“Adopting national standards has helped build credibility of Family Support and Strengthening work in our own state and common language and expectations among us all.”
– NFSN Member
The history of Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support dates back to the San Francisco Family Support Network’s development of the San Francisco Family Support Standards in 2007, based on the Principles of Family Support Practice. In 2012, the California Network of Family Strengthening Networks issued the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening & Support, having used the San Francisco Standards as a foundation, having integrated the Strengthening Families Framework and Approach, and having vetted them with 1,000 diverse Family Strengthening and Support organizations across the state. This transparent and inclusive development process ensured that the Standards would be accessible, understandable, and applicable for multiple audiences.
In 2013, the National Family Support Network (NFSN) formally adopted the Standards of Quality for national implementation. In 2015, the California Network transferred ownership of the Standards to the NFSN, recognizing that their promotion and use across the country would best be supported by a national entity. In 2020, the NFSN conducted a review and revision process to update the Standards, engaging its Member Networks across the United States, parent leaders, and representatives of Family Strengthening and Support organizations in Canada to provide input and feedback. The revised version of the Standards was approved by the NFSN Membership in February 2021.
The Standards are organized into 5 areas of practice with 15 Standards, each with Foundational and High Quality Indicators and implementation examples:
Working with a family-centered approach that values families and recognizes them as integral to the Program.
Utilizing a family strengthening approach to support families to be strong, healthy, and safe, thereby promoting their success and optimal development.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Valuing, respecting, and embracing families’ diversity, and advancing equity and inclusion.
Developing a strong and healthy community by working collaboratively with various stakeholders and supporting families’ civic engagement, leadership development, and ability to effect systems change.
Looking at areas of Program strength, as well as areas for further development, in order to guide continuous quality improvement and achieve positive results for families.
If you are interested to have a presentation on the Standards for a conference, meeting, or webinar, please contact the NFSN Director.