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FJG seeks to change public perception, policy, and resource distribution and demonstrate what is possible when families are supported. We work with community-based entities, nonprofit organizations and public institutions that are committed to investing in families and communities and ending harmful practices and policies.

FJG is a continuation of work that David and Jerry started at the United States Children’s Bureau from 2017-2020.  During their time in DC they visited nearly every state and many tribes to listen and learn from parents, youth and caregivers impacted by child welfare. Jerry and David acted on what they learned by creating a national vision for child welfare rooted in strengthening families through culturally appropriate, community-based support. They began an initiative to bring together federal, state, and local agencies and stakeholders to align resources to create the conditions for families to thrive, prevent the need for families to ever experience child welfare and to improve the experiences of families that do. 



David P. Kelly, JD, MA, is Co-Director of the Family Justice Group.  For over a decade he served in the United States Children’s Bureau, holding positions as Special Assistant to the Associate Commissioner, Senior Policy Advisor on Courts and Justice and overseeing the Children’s Bureau’s work with the legal and judicial community. Prior to joining the federal government, David was an Assistant Staff Director at the American Bar Association Center on Children and the Law and served as a Senior Assistant Child Advocate in the New Jersey Office of the Child Advocate. David began his career as an attorney at the Youth Advocacy Center of Covenant House New Jersey representing homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth; he later became Director of Legal and Clinical services.



Jerry Milner, DSW,  is Co-director of the Family Justice Group. He began his career as a front-line social worker in Alabama, working primarily with teenagers in foster care and in prevention services for families. Prior work includes serving as state child welfare director in Alabama. From 2017–2021, he led the U.S. Children’s Bureau, Department of Health and Human Services and, for most of that time, was Acting Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families.

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