Founded July 1, 2007, the mission of the Institute for Families (IFF), at the Rutgers School of Social Work, is to support and strengthen individuals, families, and communities by building the capacity of human service professionals and organizations. Consistent with the University's broad mission, the Institute provides a focal point for training, research, and service activities concerned with strengthening families. We accomplish this by:
- Increasing the capacity of human service professionals and organizations to meet best practice standards and respond to the ever changing needs of their communities,
- Marshalling the resources of Rutgers to create a more humane, just, and equitable society,
- Disseminating knowledge in NJ and beyond that leads to greater understanding of social issues, and
- Developing leadership in interdisciplinary policy, research, and professional development on families, communities, and organizations.
Through professional development and training, applied research and technical assistance, IFF disseminates knowledge that leads to greater understanding of social problems, enhanced service design and delivery, and ultimately, improved service outcomes. IFF draws upon multidisciplinary resources to develop innovative and proactive strategies that address social issues in New Jersey and the global community.
The continuing education and professional development programs at IFF focus on developing and implementing workshops for professionals in various human services fields who want to update their skills, examine new theories and techniques, assess old problems in new ways, and respond to the demands of current social needs. Applied research, program evaluation and technical assistance activities focus on applying scientifically-rigorous methods of inquiry to understand social problems, identify needs, ensure the quality of services, examine the effectiveness of social service programs, manage change, and develop new interventions.
Located in New Brunswick with several satellite offices throughout the State, IFF includes more than 80 staff, many with advanced degrees, and a cadre of hundreds of subject-matter experts representing an array of human services fields and related disciplines. IFF exemplifies the land-grant mission of Rutgers University by providing continuing education and professional development programs, program evaluation, applied research services, and technical assistance to the human services community in New Jersey and beyond.The University setting is key to providing a unique environment that brings together academic, professional, and technical experts for the public good.
The array of IFF activities demonstrates its capacity to manage projects, meet multiple deadlines, and collaborate effectively with partnering agencies. IFF manages nearly 40 grants, contracts, and programs, valued at more than $18 million annually. Funding sources include local, nonprofit service providers, and county, state, and federal governmental agencies.