Historical Context

The California Network of Family Strengthening Networks (CNFSN} was established by leaders in the field of family support in 2009 with the goals of: 1) Connect and convene member network leaders in order to promote effectiveness,peer learning, and peer support. 2} Promote the implementation of the Standards of Quality for Family Strengtheningand Support  (the  Standards), through  dissemination, training, and capacity building, and 3} explore and implement strategies for sustainability. Note: The Standards were developed in California during a two-year  process and  a nationwide scan of  standards to support the field in recognizing minimum and high-quality indicators to providing quality practices.  The Standards have now gone nationally, with leadership from the original CNFSN steeringcommittee with over 28 states currently implementing the Standards.

 

The original Network Committee represented networks from across the state (urban, rural, suburban} who developed and shared in the goals of the Network. The Steering Committee was comprised of volunteer champions in the field that believed that there was a need to connect family support programs/agencies and were responsible for carryingout the goals of the Network.

 

In the early years, the CNFSN hod strong membership with over 800 organizations and 28 networks represented.The CNFSN was able to secure small grants to support with the infrastructure of the CNFSN however, over time with a voluntary leadership team, the growth of the CNFSN, struggled after the Standards went national and with that,the backbone organization and key leadership transitioned to move the Standards forward nationally.

 

Since 2011, without having a strong backbone organization, and the lack of capacity of the leadership team to provide the support needed (securing funding and managing the day to day} the CNFSN has struggled to effectively move thegoals of current California Family Support Network (the Network) forward.

 

In the winter of 201 8, members of the current Network approached California Family Resource Association (CFRA) to  discuss  a  merge, with the end goal of the Network becoming a committee  of  CFRA, an agency that has the capacityto be the backbone organization  for  the Network  and  whose mission/goals  align with the Network. Over the past year, the leadership team of the Network and a transition team comprised of the Network Co-Chairs and CFRA have met monthly to move the merger forward, with the end goal of the merger being in full effect January 1, 2020.