The National Federation is the only nationally recognized family organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with serious mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges and their families. Through a grassroots and strengths based approach, the National Federation provides family members with the tools, resources, and information they need to support children, youth and other families. Through policy, leadership and evaluation training, the National Federation empowers families, children and youth with the knowledge and skills they need to be advocates in their own communities. The National Federation also has an increasing role in providing technical assistance to family-run organizations across the country to help them develop and sustain their programs and services.
For a list of family-run organizations, head on over to chapter and state organization page. We hope to continue providing families, children and youth with the resources, support and lives they deserve. Listed below are a collection of resources, tools, and information family members can use in the work that they do. If you are a youth looking for youth specific resources, head here.
Probably one of the most important documents in our publications library is our definition of family-driven. This definition drives almost all of the work we do here at the National Federation. Knowing and understanding this important concept is crucial to the sustainability of any program, support system or organization. Take a look at the full definition by clicking on the link below.
Family Driven Definition
Glossary of Terms in Children's Mental Health
Alongside the Family Driven Definition, these terms are crucial to the development of successful family-run programs, support systems and organizations. Become familiar with these terms as they will be referenced often throughout the work you do.
Glossary of Terms
How does one know if they have reached the aforementioned family-driven definition? In 2010, a workgroup was formed to evaluate just this. Through a partnership with ICF Macro, a group consisting of three SOC communities, including lead evaluators and family leads, came together with National Federation staff to develop and evaluate this list of indicators that they believe showcases early signs that one is moving towards being completely family-driven. Although this workgroup never finished, it is nonetheless a great start and we encourage individuals to pick this up and expand on it in their own communities.
Family Indicators (Draft)
Start a Chapter
The National Federation of Families currently has over 120 chapters and other organizations providing the groundwork at the local, state and national levels. These chapters and partner organizations are our eyes and ears to the issues facing children with SED and their families at their respective levels. Through their involvement as a chapter and/or partner organization, we are able to utilize their call for action to elicit change in the systems at the national level. Through their support, we are also able to develop new resources and tools that we then give back to our chapters for their continue growth and empowerment.
Find out if a chapter and/or state organization exists in you community.
If not, start one today.
Become a Member of the National Federation
The National Federation of Families has over a thousand members nationwide committed to supporting children with serious mental health, emotional, and behavioral challenges and their families. These individuals come from all walks of life and represent a wide variety of individuals: youth, family members, clinicians, government officials, etc. Each plays a vital role -- no more so than the family member -- we look toward our diverse membership to help spread the positive message that children with SED and their families can build upon their strengths to help become resilient and successful in their everyday lives.
Learn more about membership for family member and it's benefits.
These publications are regarded as important factors in understanding family involvement and what it takes to advocate at the local, state and national levels. They were all developed in-house by Federation staff members. In some instances, they were done in partnership with another organization who shares similar interest and/or is a part of the work provided therein.
The Road to Sustainability Is Paved with Broad Stakeholder Involvement Collaboration and Data Driven Decision Making: A Workbook
Fact sheets are great resources for those looking to get some good information and data to use in your advocacy efforts. Each of these fact sheets lend themselves to vital information on what is going on in the field and can be very effective if brought to your legislator's attention. Take a look at some of the statistics we've collected over the years.
Newsletters - ReClaiming Children
This section includes our most recent newsletter, ReClaiming Children. It is currently published 3 - 4 times a year. It includes articles that are relevant for family members to know about, as well as tools, tips, resources, and facts that families, youth and professionals can use to advocate for children's mental health.
For a collection of our old, old newsletter, please contact us and we will provide you with a link to this information.
Webinars and Conference Calls
We will on occasion post information about upcoming webinars and/or calls that you might be interested in. These calls and webinars will allow you to gain new knowledge and network with others in the field. Stay tuned as we list more information here in the future.
One of the best ways that you can converse with your fellow peers is through our community forums. Like our conference calls and webinars, our forums allow you the ability to talk in an open discussion about the resources, tools, information, new, etc. that is happening in the field and abroad. This is your opportunity to post about what is going on in your area and help provide support to other individuals who might be looking for similar information.
Head on over to our community forums.
Please note, you must be a registered user on this website to post in the forums. Anyone may view the forums, however, so please keep that in mind as you are posting information. Registering for this site is free. You may do so here. This is not the same as National Federation Membership. That is separate and you must sign up for that as well here.
About the Annual Conference
Every year, we provide our families with a robust and engaging conference that builds upon much of the information found on this page. This includes resources, workshops, plenaries, keynotes, and more, all geared toward empowering families and building upon their strengths. This year, we will be focusing in on the topic of “Sustaining and Expanding Excellence in Children’s Mental Health Services and Supports.” We have set up a special conference website that has more information on our conference and what you'll need to do to attend.
Click here to learn more about the annual conference.
National Federation Brochure
If you're interested in letting others know about the work that we do at the national level, you might be interested in brochure. This has lots of information on what we do, how you can get involved and where you can find specific resources. Download a copy and take it with you wherever you work takes you.
2012 National Federation of Families Brochure