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News

Greetings and welcome to the Family Success Institute.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards Transformational Grant to Family Success Institute

Funds Will Support Family Success Movement Led by N.J. Nonprofit

The Family Success Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building up families and the communities that surround them, was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help transform communities for family success. Read more here.


Follow the money!

We are excited to share with you our first policy paper that begins the arduous and critical process of understanding how much we spend on family distress rather than supporting family success in New Jersey. We are most fortunate to have our esteemed colleague, Dr. Cynthia Lamy, working with us. Cindy is the author of American Children in Chronic Poverty and the author of this first study, entitled A Review of the 2018 New Jersey State Budget Appropriations from the Family Success Framework Perspective.

Cindy analyzed the New Jersey 2018 state budget using the Family Success Framework – a developmental perspective not typically applied to government budgets – to understand how public spending in New Jersey relates to children, youth and families. She found that we are spending an inordinate amount of money reacting to human distress, and comparatively little trying to prevent it in the first place.

The next stage of her research will tie Federal funding into the analysis and will be available shortly on this page. We then plan to select several New Jersey localities and study how public funding flows locally and how much is being spent on what.

In keeping with our mantra of Invest in Success, Divest from Distress, Cindy’s seminal work will inform stakeholders, decision-makers and the public about the critical need for a transformational shift in policy, funding and action to better support the futures of our children, youth and families.

Jeanne Warnock and Tom Blatner, Co-founders

The study has been updated to include federal funds flowing into New Jersey.  Here’s the link to the latest version:
FSI State Appropriations Study

Thinking About Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Impacts Through a Science-Informed, Early Childhood Lens: Click HERE to read the Harvard University study!


Watch this video about United Way of Greater Union County’s efforts with city officials and nonprofits across 8 communities to distribute fresh food to food-insecure individuals. This is part of UWGUC’s larger effort to help families financially impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic . (April 20, 2020)



Tom Blatner, Charlie Venti, & Jeanne Warnock of The Family Success Institute met with The First Lady Tammy Murphy and Lt. Governor Oliver to discuss supporting and promoting the well-being of children and families in New Jersey.

Tom Blatner, Co-founder and President of the Family Success Institute, focuses on the prospect of a Sixth Extinction caused by the climate change crisis that could potentially destroy most living organisms on planet Earth. (October 28, 2019)


The United Way of Greater Union County and Parents Inc., both FSI Learning Community Members just completed a 4 site Parent Leadership and Advocacy Training for parents in Hillside, Roselle, Plainfield and Elizabeth! Over 80 new Parent Leaders were trained! Parents embraced the opportunity to learn new advocacy skills and overwhelming have asked for more training! Parent Leaders in Union County want a seat at all decision-making tables!

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