The NYC Family Policy Project (FPP) is a research and policy analysis organization that works from the perspective that child welfare involvement emerges as a symptom when communities are under stress and duress.

While child welfare frameworks treat individual parents as the problem targeted for improvement, FPP recognizes that targeting community conditions and investing in community health can better serve the majority of families as well as improve the overall health of our city. FPP will bring together researchers, parents and youth with lived expertise, advocates, allies and disruptors working on the ground in impacted communities to develop research-driven transformative policy solutions for NYC families.

Read more about FPP

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Recent Work


Nora McCarthy, Co-Founder

Nora was the founder and director of Rise, a NYC parent advocacy organization, for 16 years. Nora also edited the citywide youth newspaper New Youth Connections (NYC) and a magazine by teens in foster care, Represent. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has written for publications including Newsday, Slate, The Appeal, and Child Welfare Watch. Nora is a member of the Steering Committee of United Family Advocates and a board member of the International Parent Advocacy Network.

Tricia Stephens, Co-Founder

Tricia is an Assistant Professor at the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work. She holds a PhD from New York University and specializes in the effects of historical and contemporary trauma on mental health functioning for people of the African Diaspora and on child welfare, particularly the intersection of parental trauma exposure and family stability. Tricia has practiced as a social worker in NYC for over 20 years, in child welfare and mental health settings. Tricia serves in an advisory capacity to several grassroots and community-based parent serving organizations in NYC and is a co-chair of the Narrowing the Front Door Work Group to reduce child welfare involvement in NYC.

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We acknowledge that before we look ahead to what comes next for New York City’s families who have experienced extensive disinvestment, we must take an accounting of the harm done to families and communities and will seek to understand how families believe the systems responsible for that harm should be held to account.