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Our Children Are Watching…
and they know BLACK LIVES MATTER

As an organization whose core mission is to improve the lives of children, each new generation offers us an opportunity to genuinely address the long history of systemic racism and disgraceful treatment of African Americans in our society.

Let this generation not miss the opportunity to truly fix what’s wrong…our children are ready for it…they get it. It’s time that we, as adults and as leaders, open our eyes and see each other through a lens of humanity that forces us to create a society which actually lives up to the promise that all are created equal…with certain unalienable rights. In 2020, this is still a promise not yet afforded to African Americans.

And that’s why we must say…BLACK LIVES MATTER…and take action.

Our human service sector has learned a great deal about Trauma over the last several years…how it impacts individuals, families, communities, and next generations.

Trauma in a community is passed down from generation to generation nearly as easy as a person’s eye color, skin color or other genetic trait.

Combine generational Trauma experienced by the African American community, with the inequities that have been consistently woven into the fabric of our society—in schools, in government, in the way African American children enter the child welfare system at disproportionately higher rates, and even in health. This is glaring with COVID-19 as we see death rates amongst African Americans double that of white persons.

And that’s why we must say…BLACK LIVES MATTER…and take action.

There are many groups in our society that struggle, have been and are discriminated against and who don’t have the same opportunities they see others recognize. Our heart hurts for them, and some of us are them.

No group has experienced the long, sustained and institutionalized “suffocating” racism like our African American brothers and sisters.

It’s time that we put aside divisive “What-About-isms” and other language that’s meant to divide us on a basic issue of humanity. Saying that BLACK LIVES MATTER has never meant that others do not.

Our sector offers others a hopeful view of how we can put differences aside to work in the best interest of children and families--serving them in heroic ways--while we also help lead towards a more fair, equitable, just and healthy society.

Our work is about children—creating safety and well-being for children…all children. In order to do this, we must join together, now, with urgency, so one day soon we no longer have to say that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

As an association we’re committed to creating space to listen, learn & grow; advocating for anti-racism policies & practices in child welfare & behavioral health; and providing stories and examples of inspiration and hope from our members in the field….because remember… our children are watching.

Listen & Learn: We will use our platforms to create space for us all to listen, learn and grow towards a more fair, equitable, just and anti-racist society.

  • We’ve dedicated Keynote slots at our Annual Conference to hear from authentic voices on racism at the individual level in child welfare and at the macro-level in the broader community.
  • The entire Summer Edition of our Quarterly Publication, FOCUS, will be dedicated to Anti-Racism, Equity & Justice.
  • In 2019 the FFTA Board of Directors formalized & chartered a committee focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Subsequently in early 2020 the Board of Directors recruited and expanded this group to over 30 professionals from a diverse array of communities across our membership. Moving forward we are committed to further expanding the voices on this committee to be inclusive of current or past recipients of child welfare and/or treatment family services.

Advocate: We will use our collective voice to advocate for policies & practices in the human service sector that are fair, equitable, just and anti-racist.

  • Our Public Policy platform will be re-visited w/ our members to incorporate anti-racism elements which could be implemented at the local, state or federal levels.
  • In 2020 we will embark on revising our Treatment Family Care Standards, ensuring we advance our equity movement through revisions.

Inspire: We will share the remarkable work of our members, many that are advocating for equity & justice each day for the children & families they serve.

  • We’re launching a (virtual) Wall of Hope, where we’ll share notes, pictures, stories and actions by our members as they work on issues of equity in their communities.

Are you proud of the work your agency is doing to address racial inequalities? FFTA would like to invite you to share what you're doing so we can spread your strategies and your optimism. Please email stories, photos, or suggestions to:

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