About IFD


Our mission is to keep children safe and families together.

Who We Are & What We Do

The Institute for Family Development (IFD) was formed in 1982 with a commitment to promote and expand family preservation services as a viable alternative to out-of-home placement. This commitment, as well as IFD’s mission and core values, have guided our work throughout the agency’s history.

IFD was at the forefront of the family preservation movement in the 1980’s and 1990’s. IFD developed and disseminated the HOMEBUILDERS® model of intensive family preservation services (IFPS). The program has been widely replicated, and research has demonstrated success in both placement prevention and reunification.

As implementation of family preservation has grown, IFD has influenced national and international child welfare, juvenile justice, and child mental health policy and practice. A revolutionary idea at the beginning, it has now become required practice to make efforts to help families in crisis keep their children, rather than placing them in out-of-home care. Today, our training division consists of trainers and consultants, located throughout the country, who work to ensure that HOMEBUILDERS® is implemented with high fidelity to the original model. They provide training and consultation services to public and private agencies across the United States and internationally.

IFD is also a highly respected service provider, providing a broad range of programs for families in Washington State. In addition to our home office in Federal Way, we have satellite offices in Bremerton, Everett, Olympia, Spokane, Vancouver, and Yakima. We have a dedicated team of 100+ therapists, supervisors, consultants, trainers, administrative professionals, and managers who positively impact children and families every day. Most families we serve are referred by the child welfare system. Other families we serve are referred by local courts and mental health systems.

Organizational Goals


  1. Promote high fidelity implementation of HOMEBUILDERS®.

  2. Provide families with a range of evidence based, research based, and promising programs that are consistent with our mission and values.

  3. Influence public policy and human service systems so they support keeping families together, promote social justice, and reduce the disproportionality of children of color in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

  4. Maintain a strong organization based on our values of safety, accountability, accessibility, equity, inclusion, and optimism.

Core Values


Safety of clients, staff, and the community is our highest priority.


Our programs and staff are accountable, measured by model fidelity, program outcomes, and consumer satisfaction.


It is our job to engage and motivate clients. We make our services accessible by serving clients in their own homes, on a flexible schedule, tailoring services to match the family.


We are committed to an anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive agency culture. Clients and staff are to be treated with respect, fairness, and dignity, honoring their culture, beliefs, languages, abilities, and values.


Better results are achieved when decision-making includes those affected by it. We treat clients as colleagues and staff as partners.


All people can change. Clients are empowered by building on their strengths and learning new skills.