The Family Impact Institute provides policymakers and professionals with nonpartisan, solution-oriented research and a family and racial equity lens on many of the complex issues being debated in state legislatures across the country. The Institute was founded in 1999 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension and continues the family impact mission of the federal Family Impact Seminar, which operated from 1976 to 1998 in Washington DC. The Family Impact Seminars aim to:
The Institute provides a number of resources for policymakers, practitioners, and others who work to use research to build better public policies for families.
The Institute promotes a family perspective in state policymaking several ways:
The Family Impact Institute is directed by Shelley MacDermid Wadsworth. We are currently funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Past supporters included the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, the William T. Grant Foundation, and David and Lucile Packard Foundation.
The Family Impact Seminars were named a Bright Idea on September 25, 2012 by the Harvard Innovations in American Government Awards Program. The Seminars are a proven, replicable, and cost-effective model that advances evidence-based policy and overcomes partisan paralysis. The selections were made by a panel of policy experts to recognize and promote creative government initiatives and partnerships. The Innovations in American Government Awards Program is housed at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Training and technical assistance to the Family Impact Seminars sites across the country is provided by the Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars at the University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension currently funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the W. T. Grant Foundation.