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Advocacy

We advocate for policy and systems change to address systemic disparities and promote family prosperity and intergenerational well-being.

Public Policy Agenda 2021

We work in partnership with communities experiencing disparities to build a more equitable Minnesota.

Our annual public policy agenda focuses on areas that reflect our approach to building better futures for Minnesota families. View our full agenda for 2021.

Our Impact

For more than 143 years, The Family Partnership has been advocating for the needs of Minnesota families.

Minnesota’s Safe Harbor Law – reforming responses to Commercial Sexual Exploitation

The Family Partnership led 70+ statewide partners in successfully advocating for enactment of the Minnesota Safe Harbor Law for Sexually Exploited Youth. The law reformed the policy and practices for children and teens victimized in commercial sexual exploitation by offering services and help, rather than forcing youth into the justice system.

We also led advocacy efforts to fund the statewide network of Safe Harbor/No Wrong Door shelter beds and trauma-informed services to meet the unique needs of youthful survivors of commercial sexual exploitation. We continue to advocate for humane approaches to youth and adult survivors, including Safe Harbor for All.

Minnesota Family Strengths Study – What makes your family strong?

The Family Partnership led the only statewide research study* centered on more than 2,000 Minnesota families that asked, “What makes your family strong?” Using 12 different, culturally specific talking circles, we had in-depth conversations with African American, American Indian, Latino, Somali and Vietnamese families.

The study identified nine characteristics of strong families, as well as the barriers to family strength that Minnesota families experienced. The barriers identified in the study anticipated the emergence of health disparities and social determinants of health as important influencers of family wellbeing.

We rolled out the study results to families with fun, interactive activities so they could both learn and celebrate their own strengths. The study informed changes to our work: we developed mental health services for immigrant families and native non-English speakers.

Download the Minnesota Family Strengths research report.

*Minnesota Family Strength project was led by The Family Partnership with partners including Minnesota Public Radio, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Allina Foundation. 

A follow-up research project by Dr. Lynn Heitritter took an even deeper look at Somali Family Strengths, building the first model of family strengths in the Somali community presented in the English language. 

Download the Somali Family Strengths research report.

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Children’s Mental Health Advocacy

Beginning in the 1980s, The Family Partnership led the charge to dedicate and increase resources for children’s mental health, culminating in the passage of the Minnesota Comprehensive Children’s Mental Health Act in 1989. This legislation established standards for a statewide network of services and included $21 million for home-visiting programs, proven to help prevent child abuse and neglect.

The effort became a national model and resulted in the formation of the Minnesota Association of Children’s Mental Health made up of parents and professionals who developed advocacy skills from The Family Partnership. 

Throughout our history, The Family Partnership has pioneered new programs and services that later became separate organizations.

Our Partnerships

We partner with trusted organizations to advocate for positive policy and systems change: