Institute for Families
The Institute for Families advances the professional practice and knowledge base of individuals and organizations creating brighter futures for children, youth, and their caregivers.
IFF provides training, technical assistance, and applied research and evaluation services that:
- advance child welfare, early childhood, and human service systems through workforce development initiatives;
- educate child- and family-serving professionals through innovative learning experiences that build evidence-based practices into their everyday work; and
- reveal methods and demonstrate improved professional and program outcomes.
We accomplish this through collaboration with public agencies, community-based organizations, national thought leaders, expert professionals and educators, and persons with lived experiences. These partnerships create practices, services, and systems that give children the opportunity to flourish.
IFF is a multi-disciplinary community of highly skilled practitioners. Our team includes 80 full-time and 20 part-time professionals, and over 100 consulting subject matter experts who regularly collaborate to develop and deliver initiatives. Over the past five years, more than 90 doctoral, graduate, and undergraduate students were trained at the Institute as employees and field interns. The IFF team is called upon to share practices with jurisdictions across the country and regularly presents at national conferences.
All of the Institute’s efforts are driven by a credo grounding employees in innovative, evidence-based and culturally responsive programming, equitable and inclusive practices, accountability and continuous quality improvement, and transparent, responsive engagement with our stakeholders.
Several internal work groups, including our Organization Health Committee; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup, give employees a voice for promoting staff well-being and interests and a platform for sustaining a healthy, welcoming climate and fair, inclusive culture.
IFF embodies Rutgers' threefold mission of instruction, research and service, receiving several awards in acknowledgement:
- Our Price Family Fellows program was an exemplar for the University’s prestigious Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement.
- Our Youth and Community Development Team were awarded a Beloved Community Award by the Rutgers Division of Equity and Inclusion in recognition of our efforts to ensure all members of the university community are heard and valued.
- Team members have been selected for inclusion in Rutgers Leadership Academy and Rutgers Inclusive Leadership Academy.
Historic Contributions to the University
Instruction & Career Prep
The Institute for Families serves the instructional needs of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students through practical, career-building opportunities to apply academic aptitude and demonstrate professional capacity. Since 2015, 104 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students contributed to programming and received academic and professional training preparing them for successful careers.
The Institute leads continuous quality improvement, and data dissemination projects, perform needs assessments and program evaluations, and create aggregates of state and county data for public release and use.
A nationally recognized data portal disseminates data and outcomes on child welfare and well-being from all 21 counties of the state.
Service and community engagement are central themes within IFF’s portfolio. Our workforce development initiatives focus on preparing and developing thousands of professionals from community-based organizations and public sector roles. IFF offers an average of 100 different learning experiences and course topics each month. Our training reaches 20% of the state’s 64,000 government employees each year.
Through the Price Family Fellows and Camden Fellows programs which mentor former foster youth toward graduation, IFF serves an otherwise isolated and, at times, an underserved portion of the student community. While nationally less than 5% of these young people graduate college, 55% of our Fellows achieve a college degree.
As a proud extension of the School of Social Work’s path toward a more just future, IFF embodies the School’s commitment to change the trajectory of children and families who experience disparate access to health care, education, income equity, and social opportunity.
The Institute for Families has:
- Supported the NJDCF integration of the NJ Standards for Prevention Programs into family serving programs.
- Partnered with the National Alliance of Children’s Trust Funds to infuse the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Protective Factors into early childhood and family support programs.
- Partnered with the Department of State to explore how AmeriCorps members could support youth transitioning out of foster care.
- Strengthened systems supporting family well-being and significantly developed community resources to support them, and have been incubators and models for wider replication.
120 Albany Street, 5th Floor
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
848-932-0520 | Google Maps
3 Independence Way
Princeton, NJ 08540
609-514-1369 | Google Maps
1719 Route 10 East
Parsippany, NJ 07054
973-984-2646 | Google Maps
Cherry Hill Site
3 Executive Campus
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
856-910-8196 | Google Maps
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