Reflections on 2023

Every December we like to take time to reflect on the successes of the past year and to look ahead at the exciting endeavors we will embark on in the new year. Over the past year we have grown as an organization and built new connections with our staff, partners, and participants. Here are some of our 2023 highlights: 

  • In April, we held our first in-person Child Abuse Prevention Month Breakfast since 2019. This was a great opportunity for partners to come together to connect and reflect on the importance of natural supports for keeping families safe and strong.
  • We brought over 380 people together from across the state for our virtual Growing Resilient Communities Gathering, which focused on lifting up youth voices. You can read a recap of the event here.  
  • We partnered with Prevent Child Abuse America on an advocacy plan to create a starting place for our advocacy work that will support governmental changes to support families at the local, state, and federal level. We also raised awareness about issues facing Minnesota families by publishing our second annual Family Wellbeing Index.
  • Our Parent Support Services program, through collaboration with the Department of Corrections, launched a Parent Workbook that provides education and growth activities for incarcerated parents. This will also be a great tool for parents involved in FamilyWise programs.  
  • We worked to make our Wraparound program more accessible by introducing a third-party billing option, which allows families to refer themselves to the program and bill their medical insurance provider.  
  • We launched our Parent Leadership program, training over a dozen parent leaders across the state so that they can lend their expertise to other parents, community organizations, and state and local systems serving families. 
  • Our Supervised Parenting and First Step Early Childhood Center facilities in Minneapolis were updated with new paint and carpeting. Our St. Paul office, in collaboration with Bright Spaces, received completely updated game room for families participating in Supervised Parenting.


Charting the Course for 2024

As we celebrate these successes and all the work we have done over the past year, we are also excited about all that 2024 holds for FamilyWise. A few things we are particularly looking forward to include: 

  • Implementing a new strategic plan that was developed with staff and board input over the past year. This plan will provide strategic direction to the agency as we continue to grow into our role as the statewide home of Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota.  
  • Launching a new Training Institute at FamilyWise, which will provide training and capacity-building opportunities for communities, organizations, and agencies across the state. We are excited to share that new training opportunities will be available in 2024, including credentialing for agencies that want to offer Wraparound and Supervised Parenting services. The Training Institute will also continue to offer educational presentations on NEAR Science topics (Neurobiology, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and Resilience). 
  • Beginning a new partnership with Alia that will engage and empower parents in St. Paul in a co-design process with Ramsey County leaders aimed at improving child welfare outcomes for diverse families.   
  • Learning from and sharing the Natural Supports Toolkit that we developed as part of a federal grant over the past two years. We have long understood that natural supports are critical to the wellbeing of families, and we now have a tool that we are using to help families assess, strengthen, and expand their natural support networks. 
  • Launching Season 3 of the Remembering Resilience Podcast in January of 2024. The podcast highlights Native American resilience through and beyond trauma by exploring concepts, science, history, culture, stories and practices that foster the healing and wellbeing of tribal communities. Hear the trailer for Season 3 here. 


Stay connected to our 2024 news and events by signing up for our eNewsletter. Want to get involved with FamilyWise in 2024? Volunteer with us! There is still time to donate this year and to set up recurring monthly donations for 2024. Donate here.