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Family Strong Universal Primary Prevention

Universal Prevention for Strong and Thriving Families, or Family Strong, creates an inclusive network of community providers in southeast Kansas designed to reach families before disruption escalates into a crisis resulting in contact with the child welfare system.

Family of Three
Father and baby on the beach
Parents with child and tablet

Project Summary

Universal Prevention for Strong and Thriving Families, or Family Strong, is built on the theory that when communities collaborate to provide a continuum of comprehensive prevention services and families have seamless, universal access to these services, child maltreatment is prevented and the well-being, safety, and stability of children and families is ensured. Employing a multigenerational approach, recognizing that parents or caregivers are change agents for children, Family Strong will create an inclusive network of community providers designed to reach families before disruption escalates into crisis.

Family Strong will leverage existing connections to strengthen and grow the interconnected network of providers, launch new services in the region to increase access, and conduct grassroots outreach and marketing to promote and normalize help-seeking and increase network activity to support children and families. This plan equips community providers to identify and address the needs of all family members, regardless of who enters the continuum of care or where they enter. All children have the right to safe, stable, and nurturing caregivers. This application builds on a high-need, yet resilient region to make this right a reality for their children and families. Using existing community partnerships and systems, guided by the
cooperation and input of statewide agencies and partnerships, Family Strong will work to ensure that more southeast Kansas families are able to keep their children safe at home in thriving families.


The KU School of Social Welfare and KU Center for Public Partnerships and Research (CPPR) are partnering together with the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) and three community-based agencies in Southeast Kansas.  This system of early intervention will meet the complex needs of families to increase their well-being and reduce
maltreatment and out-of-home placements for children.


Family Strong is a 5-year cooperative agreement between the KU School of Social Welfare and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau. Kansas is one of only six grantees nationally, aimed at demonstrating integrated, cross-sector approaches designed to transform the traditional, reactive child welfare system into a comprehensive child and family well-being system.

Family Strong Research Team

Photo of Dr. Becci Akin
Akin, Becci
Professor, PhD Program Director
Jared Barton
Barton, Jared
Assistant Research Professor
Kaela Byers
Byers, Kaela
Associate Research Professor
Meghan Cizek
Cizek, Meghan
Research Project Director
Kaleena Erwin
Erwin, Kaleena
LMSW, Research Project Coordinator
Whitney Grube
Grube, Whitney
Assistant Professor, she/her/hers
Ariana Nasrazadani
Nasrazadani, Ariana
Assistant Researcher Senior

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