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Human Service Experts Provide Testimony for the Community Recovery and Family Success Act

Since a primary focus of The Family Success Institute’s (FSI) Learning Community is the development and introduction of transformative legislation, we’re working hard to garner support from our state’s policy makers. For too long, family policy, funding and practices have focused on reacting to family distress after the fact – we’re here to change that mindset to one that proactively invests in opportunities for positive family and community outcomes.

Recently, Tim Carden, FSI’s executive director, and Charles Venti, FSI board member, provided oral and written testimony before the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee (respectively), requesting funding for S2887 and A4819, the Community Recovery and Family Success Act:

“Families are the bedrock of our society and the most enduring vehicle for enabling current and future generations to succeed in life.” – Tim Carden

Tim stated that too little has changed in the 42 years since Reagan-era budget cuts that hit the “safety net” of services hard. Furthermore, the pandemic exposed systemic shortcomings in our pursuit of greater equality of opportunity and wellbeing. He explained that even as social service budgets have swelled, we have continued to fund the treatment of longstanding problems, spending far too little on proven means of solving them. The result: We spend nearly half a million dollars to feed and house an incarcerated teen, but lack the programming or funding to provide adequate food or secure housing for thousands of families and teens when they need it most.

“What has become increasingly obvious is that when our children and their families have access to locally organized and supported systems of care and support, and when these systems prioritize community engagement, our residents are more apt to take advantage of them.” – Charles Venti

Charles provided testimony through his role as board chair of Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), explaining how funds will be distributed to all 21 counties and influenced by and for those whose needs are greatest. Speaking to his 48-year career in human service, Charles noted how making investments in preventing negative outcomes, rather than addressing them after they occur, is not only common sense, but saves taxpayers money. He explained how A4819 has been developed in concert with local community residents and leaders such as those who participate in FSI’s statewide Learning Community.

We encourage all of our Learning Community members and family success supporters to express their support for the Family Success Legislation to help this bill pass through the finish line.

Let’s help New Jersey lead the charge for family success.

Read Tim’s full testimony here, and read Charles’ full testimony here.

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