New Institute for Family Reimagines U.S. Child Welfare System

Institute for Family, founded by Children’s Home Society of North Carolina in October 2020, has re-released an award-winning documentary film, “From Place to Place” ahead of the next phase of the Family First Prevention Services Act this fall.

The film, produced ten years ago by Matt Anderson, director of Institute for Family, and Paige Williams, founder and CEO of AudPop, tells the story of children growing up in the United State’s foster care system and who ultimately age out of this system.

The award-winning documentary film, “From Place to Place,” is credited as the origin story of the Family First Act, which is the most significant piece of child welfare legislation in decades.


To watch “From Place to Place” and join Institute for Family’s email list for updates, visit

“From Place to Place” is credited by Becky Shipp, former policy advisor to the U.S. Senate’s Finance committee, as the origin story of the Family First Act, which is the most significant piece of child welfare legislation in decades.

“I was delighted to have participated in ‘From Place to Place.'” Shipp said. “The Senate Caucus on Foster Youth roundtable, featured in the film, established the precedent of having current and former foster youth directly engage in detailed policy discussions. The thoughtful analysis and concrete legislative and regulatory insights provided by youth with lived experience in the child welfare system informed how Members of Congress and their staff formulated child welfare policy for over a decade.”

Family First, passed in 2018, helps keep children safely with their families to avoid the traumatic experience of entering foster care. Starting in October 2021, the act includes implementing new restrictions on foster care maintenance payments for children not placed in: 1) Foster family homes; 2) Qualified Residential Treatment Programs; 3) Settings for pregnant or parenting youth in foster care; 4) Independent living settings for youth age 18 and older; or 5) Setting providing high-quality residential care and supportive services to children and youth who have been found to be, or are at risk of becoming, sex trafficking victims.

Anderson produced “From Place to Place” while working as a social worker in Montana in 2011. The three children profiled in the film came up with the idea to tell their stories of aging out of foster care to people in positions of power, he said.

“The goal of the film aligns with the goal of Institute for Family, and we hope it will inspire our public sector and nonprofit partners to continue to focus on upstream prevention efforts that strengthen families and prevent foster care,” Anderson said. “It’s been impacting state and national policy, practice, and workforce training for ten years, and we want to be sure it’s widely available to advance even more change.”

Since last fall, the Institute has convened “The Unlearning of Child Welfare,” a series of webinars, available on-demand on its website, including two slated for May 13 and May 20. The series features panelists from organizations like The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Chapin Hall at The University of Chicago, Prevent Child Abuse America, the U.S. Children’s Bureau, and more. Additional webinars, as well as a podcast, are planned in the coming months.

To watch “From Place to Place” and join Institute for Family’s email list for updates, visit

Institute for Family is committed to the belief that families are inherently strong and resilient, and that the relationships they forge are the foundation for healthy children, strong communities, and a vibrant society. The organization is part of a growing movement to promote family well-being by convening family, professional, and political voices to address conditions that give rise to family stress and instability. The Institute amplifies stories and experiences that challenge the status quo and inspire positive societal change. Institute for Family is a national effort founded by Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Learn more at

SOURCE Institute for Family

CONTACT: April Dillon, Marketing & Media Director, (336) 604.8364, mobile,

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