Working to strengthen families and keep kids out of foster care

We can’t help kids until we help parents.

It’s that simple.

Better Families is the core of Better Together’s work—a civic-driven approach to protecting children and strengthening communities, one family at a time.

When a family calls for help, here’s what happens:

  1. Better Together’s professional staff meets the parent or parents to understand their story, needs, and objectives. The organization specializes in early intervention and works with families before they are involved with the courts and state foster care. If the family is a good match for Better Together, the process moves forward. If they are not, the staff connects the parents with organizations that can better meet their needs.
  2. If the parents wish to voluntarily place their children with a host family, they’ll be matched with the couple best suited to help. The family will be assigned to a Family Advocate, who serves as a liaison between the birth parents and host family and is supported by the Better Together Professional staff. Together with their Family Advocate, the birth parents and host parents agree on temporary living arrangements. There’s an estimated length of stay for the kids, but everyone understands that circumstances may change. Often, parents need less time then they think to address their challenges. Parents may arrange with host families to see their children regularly if they wish to do so. It’s important to note: Host families do not receive stipends from Better Together or from the government for caregiving (they may receive diapers, supplies, and grocery help from faith organizations and private donors). These families are motivated solely from the heart.
  3. Parents in distress generally were raised by other parents in distress. Recognizing the generational cycles of poverty and abuse, another subset of volunteers—Family Mentors—are ready to lend a hand, an ear, a friendly voice to steer those who feel isolated and overwhelmed. The relationships—strictly voluntary—are more akin to friendships than the formal case management the state provides when children are in foster care. Though casual in nature, these partnerships have targeted aims—to help parents-in-need fill whatever gaps are preventing them from achieving self-sufficiency and stability for their children. Parents may request a Family Mentor whether or not their children are with a Host Family.
  4. Unlike foster care, where courts determine family reunification, parents drive the decisions throughout their involvement with Better Together. That includes choosing the right time to bring their children home.

There are 473,000 Children Currently in the U.S. Foster Care System.
60% of those children are in the system due to neglect.

Foster Care is Broken — And At-Risk Families Are Paying the Price
Foster Care Better Together
Child Separation Mandatory Voluntary
Average Length of Separation 569 Days 41 Days
% of those Entering Foster Care Again After Separation 56% Less than 2%
Cost $30,000/Year/Child Paid by Tax Payers $1,200/Year/Child Paid by Private Donors
Source of Income Government Funding/Tax Dollars Private Donors – $0 in Government Funding

Do You Need Help?

If you are currently in need, please reach out to Better Together to learn more about how we can help. Our model is that we provide a hand up, not a handout. Our goal is to help you gain the tools to thrive as a parent, spouse, employee, and member of a community.

Get Involved

If you would like to help be part of the solution, there are 5 ways you can get involved in our Better Families program depending on your availability and resources.

We are 100% privately supported, so $0 is provided by the government, which is how we want to keep it. As little as $100/month can keep one child out of foster care for a year through Better Together. We steward our resources with integrity and transparency.
If you would like to sign up to be a host family, you can express interest through this portal. We background check individuals and provide training and support for host families. We love and support our host families in any way we can.
If you sign up to be a Better Together Friend, it means you walk alongside those going through difficult times and provide emotional support and encouragement. Most people going through a crisis do not have close, reliable friends, and you can change that.
Provide guidance and direction for families struggling with key issues. If you have a background, skill, or passion in a certain area, like job training, resume building, interview coaching, counseling, etc. then reach out and we can help align you with people in need.
Often, families struggle with finding tangible resources to be able to navigate a crisis - warm clothes for the winter, beds, Christmas or birthday presents for their children and so on. If you would like to sign up to be a Support Partner, then you can help meet those physical needs.