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December 2020Vol. 21, No. 9Institute for Family Launches New Webinar Series

Written by Matt Anderson, director, Institute for Family

The Institute for Family is an emerging platform to bring together youth, parents, families, and professionals to catalyze the movement to elevate and prioritize family well-being. We are building this platform to advance the creation of a child and family well-being system that can strengthen families and dramatically reduce our overreliance on foster care. The platform creates an opportunity to convene critical conversations with a diverse group of stakeholders, tell authentic stories that compel people to act, and advocate for new ways to see and support families so that all families thrive. 

While we have not yet fully launched the Institute for Family (which will happen in early 2021), we have launched the Unlearning of Child Welfare series. This is currently a three-episode webinar series that is convening a national conversation to build momentum toward the creation of a child and family well-being system. Each episode is an authentic conversation among a dynamic group of leaders with both lived and professional expertise to challenge the status quo and inspire new ways of thinking about and doing our work. Each episode addresses big questions related to the following:

  • Why we need to build a child and family well-being system
  • How people are actively building this new approach from the ground up
  • What a more just and equitable foster care system can look like moving forward

All three episodes will be available on our website in December. We have also curated video, written, and social media content to complement each episode and bring more value to our audience. You can subscribe to the Institute's email list to receive a notification as the episodes and supporting materials are available. You can also follow the Institute for Family on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

With over 1,500 people subscribed to the Unlearning of Child Welfare webinar series, and their enthusiasm for the content, our audience clearly wants to have this conversation. Those who are working with children and families around the country are ready for something different. There is broad recognition that we are not doing enough to strengthen communities and support families and that family stress, child maltreatment, and child welfare involvement are the downstream results. The time is now to begin to work together with youth, parents, families, and professionals to imagine and create new solutions to help more families thrive.

As such, we are considering how to keep the Unlearning of Child Welfare series continuing throughout 2021. We are considering video content of people's stories, podcasts, closed social media groups, and additional webinars. We want to continue our conversation with you, and we welcome your input on what we do next. We want to know about the conversations you want to have, the things you want to learn and unlearn, the people you want to hear from, the stories you want to tell, and the great things you are doing to advance family well-being in your community. Please be in touch by sending us your ideas to and subscribing to our email list.

Thank you for joining with us as we build the Institute for Family. We are encouraged by the opportunities ahead and committed to making a significant impact for families.