families first 

"No matter where you stand, no matter how much popularity you have, no matter how much education you have, no matter how much money you have, you have it because somebody in this universe helped you to get it."

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our families form our earliest experiences with others. We learn who we are and how to live together. Then we go out into the world and start lives and families of our own.  

That's the hope. But there are times when the story isn't so simple. Times when we're trapped, afraid, or in pain. There are times we feel lost or alone. Sometimes family is there to show us the way. But sometimes they're part of the problem. And that can be even lonelier than being alone. Where do we turn when we can't turn to family? And who helps a family when it can't help itself?

That's Families First. We were founded more than 180 years ago by caring people in Indianapolis - people who wanted to be there for their neighbors in their time of need. And Families First is here today for those who need care, hope, and guidance - for everyday life or in times of crisis.

We've helped save marriages and keep families together. We've helped deescalate crises and break cycles of abuse. We intervene and help prevent hundreds of suicides every year. We've helped many thousands of people deal with the challenges and changes in their lives and become better parents, spouses, daughters, sons, and people.

Families first services include:
  • Mental health counseling for individuals, couples, and families
  • Support groups
  • Community education & trainings
  • 24-hr crisis/suicide intervention hotline
  • Parenting education
  • Substance use education & outpatient treatment programs
  • Domestic violence education & support
  • Sexual assault survivor counseling & advocacy
  • Father Engagement Case Management
  • In-home family preservation counseling & case management


When you support Families First, you provide time, talent, and resources to build stronger families, more resilient individuals, and more optimistic futures. Consider a tax-deductible gift to Families First and find out about our volunteer opportunities.

Our Mission

To create healthier communities by strengthening families and individuals during life challenges and changes.

Our Vision

A community of healthy, capable and loving families.

Our Passion

Families First believes that strong families are the foundation of a healthy, productive society.