Young people + birth parents + relative caregivers

= working together to drive change in foster care.


We are the constituents of the child welfare system. Our campaign is dedicated to ensuring the voices of those with first-hand experience are heard. 

Join the movement!

If you believe the voices of youth, birth parents, and relative caregivers must inform child welfare policies, join us! You'll receive updates about Family Voices United, including regular opportunities to share your perspective.

Ohio Grandparent Advocates for Fellow Grandparents

Brenda Ryan, resident of Summit County Ohio, is advocating for grandparents raising grandchildren - particularly those affected by the opioid crises. She has started Keys to Success - an event... (Read more)

Published Aug 12, 2019

Share your perspective through the Family Voices United campaign!

Family Voices United wants to hear from YOU! If you are a foster youth or alumni, parent or relative/kinship caregiver - share your voice - and you could win... (Read more)

Published Jul 31, 2019

Family Voices United - A Podcast on Mental Health Supports

Listen as Family Voices United members share their experiences on how mental health supports can make a difference for families. Learn how constituents are taking action, getting involved, and building... (Read more)

Published Jun 26, 2019

Family Voices on Mental Health Supports

How can mental health services help support families? Hear directly from the voices of lived experience! The passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018 now provides states,... (Read more)

Published Jun 26, 2019

Share your perspective through the Family Voices United campaign!

Family Voices United wants to hear from YOU! If you are a foster youth or alumni, parent or relative/kinship caregiver - share your voice - and you could win... (Read more)

Published May 28, 2019

Join us for a Podcast Production on Mental Health Supports May 29th at 5pm (ET)

Family Voices United is hosting a Podcast Production to share how constituents are taking action, getting involved, and building the movement! Join us May 29th at 5:00pm ET (2:00pm PT)... (Read more)

Published May 24, 2019

From being served by the system to influencing it: Rynn Bell helps human services agencies reshape how they provide services

The Kresge Foundation recently highlighted a great story about Rynn Bell, a Colorado mother who has gone from being served by the system to influencing it. From sitting in waiting... (Read more)

Published May 16, 2019

"...The more support relative caregivers receive, the more likely relatives will step up to care for their family members. This will help to lower the number of foster homes needed and decrease the number of children in foster care..."

"In order to help relative caregivers navigate supports and services for children they are raising they should receive monthly financial support, funds for higher education and opportunities to receive training... (Read more)

Published May 7, 2019

"...Apply wrap-around care that coordinates efforts from one location for all available services and resources with attention given to specific needs and circumstances..."

"#3 Specific routing for circumstances such as accident, illness, neglect, or abuse. #2 Apply wrap around care that coordinates efforts from one location for all available services and resources with... (Read more)

Published Apr 30, 2019

"...Be willing to go above and beyond your duties to assist caregivers goes a long way - helping them fill out applications and connecting them directly to a resource rather than just handing them a pamphlet helps to make referrals successful..."

"I think empathy and connection go a long way! These relative caregivers often feel isolated and alone in their situations. Our support groups allow relative caregivers to connect with other... (Read more)

Published Apr 29, 2019

Title Constituent Role Topic Location Published
Ohio Grandparent Advocates for Fellow Grandparents Kinship Caregiver Kinship 08/12/19
Share your perspective through the Family Voices United campaign! Organization/Advocate Prevention 07/31/19
Family Voices United - A Podcast on Mental Health Supports Birth Parent, Youth/Alumni, Kinship Caregiver Mental Health 06/26/19
Family Voices on Mental Health Supports Birth Parent, Youth/Alumni, Kinship Caregiver Mental Health 06/26/19
Share your perspective through the Family Voices United campaign! Organization/Advocate Prevention 05/28/19
Join us for a Podcast Production on Mental Health Supports May 29th at 5pm (ET) Organization/Advocate Mental Health 05/24/19
From being served by the system to influencing it: Rynn Bell helps human services agencies reshape how they provide services Birth Parent Pregnant & Parenting Youth 05/16/19
"...The more support relative caregivers receive, the more likely relatives will step up to care for their family members. This will help to lower the number of foster homes needed and decrease the number of children in foster care..." Youth/Alumni Kinship 05/07/19
"...Apply wrap-around care that coordinates efforts from one location for all available services and resources with attention given to specific needs and circumstances..." Birth Parent Kinship 04/30/19
"...Be willing to go above and beyond your duties to assist caregivers goes a long way - helping them fill out applications and connecting them directly to a resource rather than just handing them a pamphlet helps to make referrals successful..." Organization/Advocate Kinship 04/29/19
Family Voices United wants to hear from YOU! Organization/Advocate 04/15/19
"As a grandmother raising a baby, I wanted to connect with other relative caregivers in similar situations. There wasn't a resource, so I started the local Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group." Kinship Caregiver Kinship 04/12/19
"...I would have liked them to go through a training to understand their role for me and understand the trauma I was still experiencing, instead of them telling me I should be grateful to be with them instead of a "random family"..." Youth/Alumni Kinship 04/10/19
Family Voices United member, Tecoria Jones, spoke at South Carolina's Kinship Day at the Capitol Kinship Caregiver Kinship 04/10/19
"...A contact person for every family - to answer the caregivers' questions about how to navigate the system and be able to share what services are and aren't available..." Kinship Caregiver Kinship 04/10/19
"I would like to see more opportunities for kinship and foster families (parents and kids) to connect. It's most helpful to learn about resources from peers that have been through it." Kinship Caregiver Kinship 03/30/19
Colorado engages constituents in Family First Prevention Services Act planning! Organization/Advocate Kinship, Older Youth 03/15/19
Family Voices United wants to hear from YOU! Organization/Advocate Kinship 03/08/19
"...It just seemed to me that legislators might want to hear the voice of someone who’s impacted by a bill that’s on the table..." Youth/Alumni Older Youth 02/25/19
Share your perspective through the Family Voices United campaign! Organization/Advocate Prevention 02/15/19
Kinship grandparent shares her experience with mental health supports and navigating the system Kinship Caregiver Kinship, Mental Health 02/15/19
"...I cannot help but think that if she had access to mental health treatment, she might not have relapsed and died at age 22 almost one year clean, leaving behind her 9-month-old daughter." Kinship Caregiver Mental Health 01/30/19
"...Growing up, I knew my mom had some challenges. I firmly believe mental health services would have helped my mom and helped me figure out how to support her..." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/29/19
"...I wish I would have felt supported to address *all* of the major barriers and needs to quality parenting during the life of my case. Instead, I reacted with fear and stigma..." Birth Parent Mental Health 01/25/19
"As a parent who is a trauma survivor — knowing what's available could have led to receiving help for trauma and mental health issues. Understanding helps families heal." Birth Parent 01/24/19
"...Having access to support groups and information through groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) helped our family understand the illness..." Kinship Caregiver, Organization/Advocate Mental Health 01/22/19
"...While my mother was given services for substance abuse, housing, and employment, she did not receive any or adequate mental health services. I truly believe if she had mental health support/services I would have been reunified with her." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/22/19
"...My parents didn't have support to access or understand how necessary mental health services were for them to keep their children..." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/17/19
"The services in place weren't addressing my issue specifically. Things I said in confidence were repeated in family therapy, which made things worse. I felt like I had no one." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/14/19
"Mental health services could have created stability, a safer living environment, and most importantly, I wouldn’t have ended in the foster system." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/10/19
"Behavioral health services could have helped my mother... No one told her that her decision could impact our family for the rest of our lives... If someone had, I believe my family’s story would be different." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/07/19
"I’ve gone through 15 years of abuse and actually talking to people that care to listen really helped me feel like I wasn’t alone. Everywhere I looked I saw everyone that supported me through my journey." Youth/Alumni Mental Health 01/04/19
Share your perspective through the Family Voices United campaign! Organization/Advocate Mental Health 11/14/18
Ohio's Kinship Day at the Capitol: GrandRally Giving Voice to Kinship Families Organization/Advocate Kinship 11/13/18

QUESTION OF THE MONTH:

What do attorneys representing families in court proceedings need to know to keep families together?

If you are a current or former foster youth, a birth parent, a kinship or relative caregiver, or a foster or adoptive parent, share your perspective with the Family Voices United... Your story could be featured on the Campaign!

Help Spread the Word!

Know a youth or alumni of foster care who would want to get involved? How about a birth parent or relative caregiver that is interested in advocacy? Download and share the Family Voices United recruitment flyer.

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