The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health is a national family-run organization linking more than 120 chapters and state organizations focused on the issues of children and youth with emotional, behavioral, or mental health needs and their families. It was conceived in Arlington, Virginia in February, 1989 by a group of 18 people determined to make a difference in the way the system works.
Members of the National Federation come from all walks of life. Emotional, behavioral or mental health needs cut across all income, educational, geographical, racial, ethnic, and religious groups. They are found among single parents and two-parent families and in birth, adoptive, and foster families.
The National Federation works to develop and implement policies, legislation, funding mechanisms, and service systems that utilize the strengths of families. Its emphasis on advocacy offers families a voice in the formation of national policy, services and supports for children with mental health needs and their families.
The National Federation, a national family-run organization serves to:
- Provide advocacy at the national level for the rights of children and youth with emotional, behavioral and mental health challenges and their families
- Provide leadership and technical assistance to a nation-wide network of family run organizations.
- Collaborate with family run and other child serving organizations to transform mental health care in America.
Through a family and youth-driven approach, children and youth emotional, behavioral, and mental health challenges and their families obtain needed supports and services so that children grow up healthy and able to maximize their potential.
- The National Federation maintains that children and youth emotional, behavioral or mental health challenges.
- Have strengths and make valuable contributions to their families.
- Are people first and deserve the same love, care, and attention as any other person.
- Have a right to safely participate in community life, live with their families, and attend school.
- Come from diverse backgrounds and must be treated with dignity and respect.
- Must receive all the services and supports necessary to achieve their potential.