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Resources for Families, Parents, Caregivers

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The National Federation is the only nationally recognized family organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with serious mental, emotional and behavioral health challenges and their families. Through a grassroots and strengths based approach, the National Federation provides family members with the tools, resources, and information they need to support children, youth and other families. Through policy, leadership and evaluation training, the National Federation empowers families, children and youth with the knowledge and skills they need to be advocates in their own communities. The National Federation also has an increasing role in providing technical assistance to family-run organizations across the country to help them develop and sustain their programs and services. Listed below are a collection of resources, tools, and information family members can use in the work that they do. If you are a youth looking for youth specific resources, head here.

Key Concepts


Probably one of the most important documents in our publications library is our definition of family-driven. This definition drives almost all of the work we do here at the National Federation. Knowing and understanding this important concept is crucial to the sustainability of any program, support system or organization. Take a look at the full definition by clicking on the link below.

Family Driven Definition

Glossary of Terms in Children's Mental Health

Alongside the Family Driven Definition, these terms are crucial to the development of successful family-run programs, support systems and organizations. Become familiar with these terms as they will be referenced often throughout the work you do.

Glossary of Terms

Family Indicators

How does one know if they have reached the aforementioned family-driven definition? In 2010, a workgroup was formed to evaluate just this. Through a partnership with ICF Macro, a group consisting of three SOC communities, including lead evaluators and family leads, came together with National Federation staff to develop and evaluate this list of indicators that they believe showcases early signs that one is moving towards being completely family-driven. Although this workgroup never finished, it is nonetheless a great start and we encourage individuals to pick this up and expand on it in their own communities.

Family Indicators (Draft)


We have a full array of various publications, both in-house and external. Check out our publications database for a full listing of all publications we have uploaded thus far.

In-House Publications

These publications are regarded as important factors in understanding family involvement and what it takes to advocate at the local, state and national levels. They were all developed in-house by Federation staff members. In some instances, they were done in partnership with another organization who shares similar interest and/or is a part of the work provided therein.

The Road to Sustainability Is Paved with Broad Stakeholder Involvement Collaboration and Data Driven Decision Making: A Workbook

Fact Sheets

Fact sheets are great resources for those looking to get some good information and data to use in your advocacy efforts. Each of these fact sheets lend themselves to vital information on what is going on in the field and can be very effective if brought to your legislator's attention. Take a look at some of the statistics we've collected over the years.

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Blamed and Ashamed - Bert Pepper

Child Welfare: What Do You Need to Know?

Children's Mental Health as a Public Health Issue - What a Difference It Could Make

Children's Mental Health Disorders

Children's Mental Health Prevalence, Needs and Barriers (2008)

Children, Youth, and Mental Illness (2008)

Custody Relinquishment

FFCMH Children's Mental Health Fact Sheet (2008)

Glossary of Terms: Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Juvenile Justice - What You Need to Know (2008)

Promotion and Prevention - What Do These New Buzz Words Mean to Me?

Reversing the Trend: Children and Youth with Mental Health Challenges Do Not Belong in the Juvenile Justice System (2008)

The Importance of Fathers for Children with Mental Health Challenges

The Myth of the Bad Kid

Tips for Developing Sustainable Family-Run Organizations (2004)

Newsletters - ReClaiming Children

This section includes our most recent newsletter, ReClaiming Children. It is currently published 3 - 4 times a year. It includes articles that are relevant for family members to know about, as well as tools, tips, resources, and facts that families, youth and professionals can use to advocate for children's mental health.


ReClaiming Children - Volume 1, Issue 1


ReClaiming Children - Volume 2, Issue 1

ReClaiming Children - Volume 2, Issue 2


ReClaiming Children - Volume 3, Issue 1

ReClaiming Children - Volume 3, Issue 2

ReClaiming Children - Volume 3, Issue 3


ReClaiming Children - Volume 4, Issue 1

ReClaiming Children - Volume 4, Issue 2

ReClaiming Children - Volume 4, Issue 3


ReClaiming Children - Volume 5, Issue 1


ReClaiming Children - Volume 6, Issue 1

For a collection of our old, old newsletter, please contact us and we will provide you with a link to this information.