Logo for: NAFI Connecticut

NAFI began operations in Connecticut in 1994 with the opening of the Professional Parent Program (PPP), a therapeutic foster care program specializing in helping justice-involved youth achieve permanency and success. Since that time, the agency has grown to a leading nonprofit human services organization with a rich history of developing and delivering results-driven programs that positively impact the lives of children, individuals, and families across the state.

In 2019, NAFI Connecticut, Inc. joined with NAFI programs operating in the states of Rhode Island and New York, forming a multistate, multi-service agency. NAFI CT-NY-RI, often referred to as the Tri-State Alliance, employs a diverse team of more than 300 highly skilled and dedicated human services professionals. Our programs impact the lives of more than 1,500 children, adults, and families each year.

The agency’s array of services represents a growing continuum of care across six primary divisions:

The agency’s array of services and programming is delivered by a team of approximately 300 highly skilled professionals and touches the lives of more than 1,500 children, adults, and families each year.

History of NAFI/NFI

North American Family Institute (NAFI/NFI) was founded by Dr. Yitzhak Bakal. Dr. Bakal was inspired to launch the nonprofit after serving as Assistant Commissioner in charge of institutions for delinquent youth for the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services in the early 1970s. In that role, he became one of the architects of the reform that created the closing of the state’s juvenile correctional facilities in favor of privatizing community-based alternatives. As a result, Massachusetts became the first state to embrace a non-institutionalized approach to care for children and youth that eventually spread across the nation.

After leaving DYS in 1974 Dr. Bakal launched NAFI/NFI (then called Northeastern Family Institute, Inc.), joining a small group of burgeoning nonprofits serving youth in the juvenile justice and mental health systems. He began with one contract, the Outreach and Tracking program in Malden, MA, which he operated out of his home. After its initial success, NFI expanded its services to help meet the needs of formerly institutionalized populations across several other states.

Today, NAFI/NFI operates numerous residential and community-based programs across eight states and is comprised of five corporations; the parent corporation, North American Family Institute, Inc. (NAFI), NFI Massachusetts, Inc., NFI North, Inc., NFI Vermont, Inc. and NAFI Connecticut, Inc. NAFI continues to grow and expand, developing new continuums of care and services for youth, adolescents, families and adults and pioneering prevention and early intervention initiatives to help communities thrive.