It is not unusual for people to be unfamiliar with the role Families NOW plays in the child welfare system. They are used to organizations that provide direct services, for instance, recruiting and training families to adopt children in foster care. They are used to organizations offer solutions that can be carried out locally, for instance backpacks full of school supplies for local children in foster care.
Families NOW is in a category known as social impact change agents. We look for the root causes of a social problem and devise solutions that change the way people see the problem and possible remedies. Families NOW identifies root causes that prevent children in foster care from achieving permanent families then removes those barriers.
In order for us to solve these problems at the local level we have to remove barriers at the state and national level. Sometimes we feel like the preverbal “man without a country”, having no one county who claims us. Other times we feel like the mythological North Wind, bending grass and leveling trees across the continent.
Our work makes it possible for the direct services organizations to be more effective in their efforts to improve permanency outcomes. Our work holds public and private child welfare organizations accountable at the same time that we applaud their successful efforts and courageous willingness to go beyond the way it’s always been done.
Whether it be in shortening the time to successful reunification, achieving permanent families for teens who have waited for years, or increasing post permanency support for families who provide lifelong love and belonging to children, Families NOW is a respected agent of positive change for our children. We are proud that our work is improving permanency outcomes for children in foster care.