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Family Forward Advocacy CT

Parenting Through Trauma?

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Advocate for Change.

What We Do

We Advocate, Educate, and Mentor Parents

We Educate Lawmakers, Raise Awareness, and Advocate for Policy Change

Parent Support Services

Adoption, attachment disruption, and early trauma can make parenting complicated, exhausting, and even dangerous. We

Policy Reform Advocacy

We host state and national advocacy opportunities throughout the year for parents and other stakeholders to share their stories and inform public policy change. Lawmakers meeting,  

What We Do

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's SA 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:

Family Forst Prevention Services Act - Fact Sheet

Support our national advocacy work.

       U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.