An Evidence-Based Alternative to Incarceration for Youth who are Tried as Adults

The New York Foundling’s Families Rising program is an alternative-to-incarceration program for youth who are tried as adults in New York City’s court system. The program adheres to the evidence-based Functional Family Therapy (FFT) model – a holistic approach that has shown superior results across multiple randomized clinical trials.


We view the child in the context of his or her family, and introduce a trained therapist into the family dynamic to help them address their challenges as a family unit. Not only does the therapist work closely with the youth to address factors leading to their arrest, they work with the child’s school, family, and community to address major obstacles and build a supportive environment.


Did You Know:


  • Incarcerated youth consistently demonstrate elevated rates of trauma, psychiatric disorders, suicide, and re-arrest – all of which can be prevented or mitigated through evidence-based interventions like Families Rising program.
  • By helping youth avoid a criminal record, we are helping to remove barriers to education and employment, and enabling our youth to build a better future for themselves and their families.
  • By helping our youth avoid incarceration, we are helping keep our children in their school and community, reducing their exposure to trauma and delinquent peers, and enabling them to overcome barriers to a successful future.


Our Impact:


Since 2012, Families Rising has reached 180 youth and their families. Our major accomplishments include:


  • 97% of participants who completed treatment and were sentenced avoided a criminal record.
  • 92% of participants who completed treatment and were sentenced avoided jail-time.
  • 89% of participants who completed treatment and were sentenced avoided a criminal record and incarceration.
  • 73% of youth and families who participated in Families Rising have met all of their personal treatment goals and completed the program successfully (surpassing the standard 70% goal for FFT).


Our Thanks:


This important work wouldn’t be possible without the support from these donors:

  • Guerin Foundation
  • Robin Hood Foundation
  • The New York Bar Foundation
  • Tiger Foundation
  • Van Ameringen Foundation





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