Our Mission, Vision and Principles


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 needs and substance use 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 and substance use health care in America



Through a family-driven and youth-guided approach, children and youth with emotional, behavioral, and mental health needs and substance use challenges and their families obtain needed supports and services so that children grow up healthy and able to maximize their potential.


The National Federation believes that all children and youth:

  • 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.