About Us

The Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council integrates services at the neighborhood level to meet the needs of DC families.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, fragile children and families were floundering in communities under the weight of crime, poverty, and fagmented service delivery system. It became abundantly clear that what was needed were deliberate and sustainable interventions that were:

  • family oriented
  • strengths based
  • solution focused
  • neighborhood driven

Change was in the air in 1997 with Dr. Jerry Miller, the first Court Receiver of the child welfare agency now known as Child and Family Services Agency. Miller brought together government, community, and families to develop a intervention strategy to build on the resilience of individuals and communities, prevent children maltreatment and promote child and youth success. This collective commitment to reinvigorating and rebuilding all the facets of our community culminated into the Healthy Families and Thriving Communities concept. The Collaborative Movement emerged from local efforts to improve the District of Columbia’s child welfare system, in part related to the LaShawn lawsuit in court-order receivership of the District’s child welfare system, and from the 1993 enactment of the Federal Family Preservation and Family Support Act. Legislation provided incentives to states to develop community-based family supports that could:

  • Prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families
  • Expand services and supports that empower and strengthen families
  • Ensure permanency for children through reunification, adoption, or other permanent living arrangements

While the city’s child welfare system only becomes involved with a family when an allegation of abuse of neglect is made, the Collaboratives are designed to build networks of support that are accessible to families before a crisis. Together, the Collaboratives and their partner agencies foster healthy families and supportive communities in which children, young people, and adults can reside and thrive safely and productively. There are five Collaboratives offering a range of prevention and family support services across the District:

In 1997, the Collaboratives created the Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council to take charge of the “big picture” components of the work such as data collection and evaluation, documentation and training on the common practice model, and quality assurance.  The Collaborative Council also provides leadership in advocating for public policies and investments that will improve the lives of vulnerable children and families. Together, the Collaborative Council and Collaboratives model an effective approach to improve family functioning, increase neighborhood capacity building, and simultaneously elevate issues to a public policy level to effect positive change.

Role of the Collaborative Council:

  1. Leverage and secure public and private resources
  2. Promote a citywide neighborhood based strategy to support service delivery and capacity building
  3. Develop and solidify key partnerships/relationships
  4. Ensure consistent service delivery and standards of operations
  5. Promote and communicate our successes including the use of  research to document our performance
  6. Ensure appropriate risk management practices throughout the collaborative network inclusive of governance and operations
  7. Ensure leadership is in place to achieve goals and objectives
  8. Secure and maintain appropriate technological capacity to include a database consistent with our case management, documentation, and evaluation strategies
  9. Mediate and collaborate cross boundary issues
  10. Investigate and mitigate matters that threaten the reputation, funding and/or positioning of the HFTCC movement
  • We take a team based approach to our work
  • We are committed to providing clarity to all our stakeholders regarding our direction and the work that we do together
  • We approach all of our work with a strong sense of integrity
  • We take a strengths-based approach to our work with each other and our communities
  • We work to achieve concrete results for our clients and our communities
  • We approach our work with respect for individual differences and vulnerabilities including those differences which are specific to indigenous communities