Three elements of self-compassion. We frequently hear about self-care these days, but what about self compassion? According to Dr. Kristin Neff, self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now,” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment? Learn more.

Hand on Heart Exercise – Supportive Touch:
One easy way to care for and comfort yourself when you’re feeling badly is to give yourself supportive touch. Touch activates the care system and the parasympathetic nervous system to help us calm down and feel safe. It may feel awkward or embarrassing at first, but your body doesn’t know that. Learn more.


Re-envisioning the child welfare system. Signed into law on February 9, 2018, as a part of the Bipartisan Budget Act (HR. 1892), Family First includes long-overdue historic reforms to help keep children safely with their families and avoid the traumatic experience of entering foster care. In passing the law, Congress recognized that too many children are unnecessarily separated from parents who could provide safe and loving care if given access to needed mental health services, substance abuse treatment or improved parenting skills. The Family First Act:
  • Supports preventions services. The law gives states and tribes the ability to target their existing federal resources into an array of prevention and early intervention services to keep children safe, strengthen families and reduce the need for foster care whenever it is safe to do so.
  • Supports Kinship Care: Funding for Kinship Navigator programs linking relative caregivers to services & supports to help children remain safely with them
  • Funding for residential treatment programs Allows federal reimbursement for care in certain residential treatment programs for children with emotional and behavioral disturbance requiring special treatment
  • Older youth services. Allows states to offer services to youth who have aged out of foster care up to age 23, along with adding flexibility to the Education & Training Voucher (ETV) program. Learn More.




Promoting safety and trust with families. FAF’s training materials now reflect a trauma-informed approach. FAF Software measures 8 family functioning factors and its assessment comes with an “Observations and Questions Guide,” which gives cues to family support workers when assessing families. The FAF team worked in coordination with the Social Policy Institute, San Diego State University School of Social Work to update the materials.
According to SAMHSA, a trauma-informed approach reflects adherence to six key principles rather than a prescribed set of practices or procedures. These principles may be generalizable across multiple types of settings, although terminology and application may be setting- or sector-specific.
A program, organization, or system that is trauma-informed realizes the widespread impact of trauma and understands potential paths for recovery; recognizes the signs and symptoms of trauma in clients, families, staff, and others involved with the system; and responds by fully integrating knowledge about trauma into policies, procedures, and practices, and seeks to actively resist re-traumatization. Learn more.
Name the six key principles to a
trauma-informed care approach.



A comprehensive family assessment is the ongoing practice of informing decision-making by identifying, considering, and weighing factors that impact children, youth, and their families. Assessment occurs from the time children and families come to the attention of the child welfare system-or before-and continues to case closure.
Comprehensive family assessment is guided by principles of family-centered and culturally competent practice.
Whenever possible, families are considered the best care and protection for their children.  Learn more.
FAF assesses family functioning from an ecological perspective by measuring eight family functioning factors. FAF is family centered and culturally sensitive. Additionally FAF aligns with the five key Protective Factors. Its eight domains include:
  • Living Conditions
  • Financial Stress
  • Support to Caregivers
  • Caregiver/Child Interactions
  • Developmental Stimulation
  • Interactions Between Caregivers
  • Caregivers’ Personal History
  • Caregivers’ Personal Characteristics


Peer Recognition for FAF Software

FAF Software is an online assessment platform that measures family well-being. It’s strength-based approach guides the user to develop effective service plans.
FAF Software has a long history of being a reputable family assessment tool for the family strengthening field, and we’re proud to share its recognition from the these credible entities: