Image of woman wearing a plaid headscarf and smiling at her newborn baby

What We Do

Our Vision

Family Connects International envisions a world where all children and their families have access to a continuum of community-based care to support their health and success.

Our Mission

Family Connects International is committed to improving the health and well-being of children and families by bringing evidence-based solutions to every community, undertaking innovative research and evaluation, and engaging in public policy.

Our Values

Equity

We believe that every family must have fair and just opportunities to achieve optimal health and well-being, and we actively work to establish systems that support this ideal.

Collaboration

Collaboration is the only way to achieve systems transformation. No single organization can do this work.

Excellence

Simply put, we bring the highest quality to everything we do.

Integrity

We are data-driven, transparent, trustworthy, and accountable. We are here to empower families and communities to care for their children.

How We Work

Family Connects International partners with the Center for Child & Family Health to disseminate the Family Connects model. We work with local and state governments, health-care systems, and nonprofits to plan and implement the model. We provide full support for successful implementation, including building community alignment, training nurses, providing screening and assessment tools and a robust data system.

Family Connects International also conducts rigorous research and evaluation of the model, as well as innovative research on early childhood well-being and parent-child relationships. In addition, we engage with policymakers to increase their understanding of the positive impacts of Family Connects, and we collaborate with agencies working in the early childhood field.

Our aim is to improve child and family health and well-being at the population level.

History

In 2001, representatives of The Duke Endowment challenged Kenneth Dodge, the founding director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, to improve child outcomes in Durham — specifically, to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect. Community collaborators decided the best way to prevent child maltreatment and help children in Durham get a good start would be to support all families from the very beginning, regardless of socioeconomic status.

Formerly known as Durham Connects, the model was developed in partnership with Duke University’s Center for Child and Family Policy, the non-profit Center for Child & Family Health, and the Durham County Health Department. Durham Connects was piloted in 2008, creating a replicable model that could be used in other communities.

The program has been studied in two rigorous randomized controlled trials and a quasi field experiment, the results of which have been published in highly-regarded journals. With the publication of positive research findings, communities around the country reached-out for training and technical assistance to implement the program. When the model spread to communities outside of Durham, the name was changed to Family Connects. Subsequently, Duke University created Family Connects International to coordinate the research, policy and implementation of the model nationally.