Children, Youth and Families

Joining Forces for Families (JFF)

Community Change Leads To New Ways of Meeting Needs

Dane County is one of Wisconsin’s fastest growing counties. That growth has led to significant changes in the community and posed challenges to community leaders and residents alike. Population growth and increases in juvenile crime, child maltreatment, children who are homeless, and children living in poverty prompted community leaders to join as partners to look for new ways to maintain the health of the community and better meet human needs, with a particular emphasis on children, youth and families. One innovative initiative resulting from this call to action is Joining Forces for Families (JFF).

Joining Forces for Families marshals the combined talents and resources of the Dane County Human Services Department, local and county law enforcement agencies, school districts, local and county public health departments, United Way, and neighborhood groups and residents. In various capacities, these groups are working together to ensure the success of children, youth and families in school, home and community by working toward:

  • changing the way community-based services are delivered so they are accessible, integrated, customer-focused and address local needs;
  • increasing efforts to intervene earlier and prevent problems before they occur;
  • supporting positive changes in families by encouraging families to be pro-active problem solvers; and
  • encouraging residents to maintain healthy neighborhoods and communities by building on the strengths and capacities of residents, neighborhoods and communities.