Who We Are

About / Who We Are

Who We Are

Pennsylvania Family Support Alliance is a statewide child abuse prevention organization.

Our Mission

Providing education, support, and training programs to make Pennsylvania safe for children.

Our Vision

For all children to grow and thrive free from abuse and neglect. 

Our Values

  • All children should be valued, believed and cared for so they grow and thrive free from maltreatment.
  • Each family has its own unique strengths.
  • All parents and caregivers have the right to receive parenting education and support to strengthen their parenting skills and family.
  • Everyone has a role to play in protecting children and should learn how to recognize and report child maltreatment to safely intervene when a child is not safe.
  • Child abuse and neglect are complicated societal health issues and addressing them requires commitment and a multi-faceted solution focused response from both the public and private sectors.
  • PFSA does not support corporal punishment as an effective or acceptable form of child discipline.

DEI Statement

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are values incorporated in who we are and all we do. We deploy our resources to support and strengthen all parents and families so communities are places of belonging, empathy, and empowerment in which children may grow and thrive safely.

  • We stand against racism, discrimination, and social injustice in all forms to ensure children can grow and thrive free from abuse and neglect in safe, healthy families.
  • We advocate for substantive life-improving public policy and changes in the child welfare system and invest in work that advances racial equity and social justice for all families of marginalized populations.
  • We commit to equitable fundraising, communications, and public relations practices, ensuring organizations and stakeholders with whom we work are committed to core values and approaches which best prevent the maltreatment of all children.
  • We pledge to providing programs and services that are supportive and respectful of all families through partnerships with professionals who possess and demonstrate the values of the organization.
  • We strive to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace in which staff and leadership reflect community, contribute fully, and share in upholding the mission and values of the organization. 

A Bit of History

PFSA’s story began more than 40 years ago in the hay-day of the self- help movement.  It was a time when the words child abuse was barely uttered, and little was known about “the battered child syndrome.” Just a few years after Pennsylvania established its Child Protective Services Law, our organization was born under the name Parents Anonymous of Pennsylvania with a singular purpose of helping local communities establish self- help support groups for parents who were abusing, or at risk of abusing their children.  One of the pivotal players in the formation of our organization was then First Lady of Pennsylvania, Ginny Thornburgh.   

As the decades passed, we of course learned a great deal about child abuse and neglect, it is prevention and the impact on children. Societal changes influenced the growth of our organization to recognize the broadened and changing complexion of families and the organization was rebranded PA Family Support Alliance.  Over the years, our services also expanded as we realized the hard truth- combating child abuse really does take the dedication of both the public and private sector as well as services for families that truly reflect their culture and that of the community in which they live.

Supporting and educating families- all families- remains a cornerstone of PFSA.  But we also know that professionals and community members- in fact, every individual has a role to play in keeping children safe.  Today, PFSA is the state leader in educating mandated reporters through a comprehensive training program designed to teach those who work and volunteer with children how to recognize and properly report child abuse.  We help influence public policy to strengthen our child welfare system and better protect all children.  If you have seen blue ribbons, blue flags, billboards, or public service announcements about protecting PA’s children, they likely are connected to PFSA. Our community awareness efforts help spread the message that everyone is needed to #ProtectPAKids.

Our story is far from finished.  Last year, Pennsylvania had more child deaths, and near fatalities due to abuse and neglect than ever before.  There remains much more work to do and we need your help to #ProtectPAKids.  Contact our office via [email protected] to learn how.

Organizational Structure & Funding

PFSA is led by its President/CEO and guided by a statewide governing board with broad-based representation throughout both the public and private sectors. Program services are directed and delivered by a team of knowledgeable staff and a cadre of carefully selected independent contractors with decades of experience in the child welfare system.

PFSA is a nonprofit organization, with operations funded through a combination of public contracts, program service fees, and private fundraising efforts.

Local Organizational Services

We customize our services to meet the needs of the affiliated organization; these organizations then provide Family Support Programs in their communities. Here are some services that our affiliates enjoy:

  • Current information on issues facing the child welfare and abuse prevention community; an organized presence in state government to educate legislators about the needs of the families they serve.
  • Organization of special events and awareness campaigns, like the Blue Ribbon campaign for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
  • A video lending library and book lending library of more than 100 titles each are available to supplement the local Family Support Program meetings and enhance learning.
  • A statewide referral program for parents looking for assistance or parenting education.
  • Training to increase the skills of staff as group facilitators; this is provided near your office at no charge. Training for childcare staff ensures the best possible program for the whole family. Plus, special sessions of our acclaimed training for mandated reporters are scheduled “for affiliates only.”
  • Technical assistance and a variety of marketing materials to help local programs recruit new families. Monthly mailings provide meeting ideas, legislative alerts, and other resources to make the job easier.
  • High quality publications – like the “Parenting Primers” and our parenting series on special topics, such as parents in recovery and parents with mental illness – at reduced cost to the affiliated agency.

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