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Vol. 5, No. 1
May 2000

Child Welfare and Family Support

For years there has been a wall dividing the human services community.

On one side has been DSS child welfare: an official presence in every community, legally mandated to protect children and given immense authority in the lives of families.

On the other have been family support agencies: present in some communities, providing voluntary services in pursuit of their own equally impressive mission--supporting families and building communities.

To many, the irony of this division has been obvious. Both child welfare and family support agencies frequently work with and care about the same families and children. Both have the same basic goal: ensuring children have safe, permanent, nurturing families.

Recently the wall dividing these camps in North Carolina has begun to come down. The family support and child welfare communities are coming together at joint conferences, working together on the local level, and joining forces for a statewide initiative, North Carolina's Families for Kids 2.

From the perspective of child welfare, there is much to gain from this change. If our goal is to ensure every child is safe, we must enhance our communities' ability to head off family crisis, to prevent abuse and neglect before they happen. Collaborating with the family support community may be the most effective way to do just that.


What is the Family Support Movement?
Principles Underlying Family Support
Family Support Service Models at Work in North Carolina
Services Provided by Family Support Agencies
Serving the Same Families: Fruitful Relationships Between DSS and Family Resources Centers
Fostering Collaboration with Family Support Agencies in Your Community
How You Can Support Families
North Carolina's Families for Kids: The Second Generation
North Carolina's Families for Kids Goals
The System Reform Issues Guiding Families for Kids 2 (FFK2)
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