Who We Are

Omni Family Institute's Story

The Omni Family Institute began with Together Facing the Challenge, a training program written and developed by Maureen Murray, LCSW, and supported through the collaboration of Elizabeth M.Z. Farmer, PhD, Barbara J. Burns, PhD, and Shannon Dorsey, PhD. Their work and research in the field of therapeutic foster care formed the foundation of the program.

Together Facing the Challenge launched in North Carolina in 2003, and quickly became a highly regarded treatment model in treatment foster care, listed on the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare. Since its introduction, the program has expanded to serve more than 130 agencies spanning 30 states.

In 2023, the Omni Family of Services — a national leader in child welfare and behavioral health — announced the formation of Omni Family Institute, with Together Facing the Challenge as its anchor and founder Maureen Murray and leadership partner Allen Murray guiding the new organization forward.

In addition, The Omni Family of Services was awarded a 4-year grant by The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services Building Strong Brains Tennessee to bring the Science of Hope to OFS programming and workforce. During these 4 years, Omni Family Institute (OFI) will manage this grant while working alongside the Science of Hope researchers and developers, Dr. Chan Hellman and Dr. Angela Pharris. OFI’s Hope Ambassador will coordinate and oversee two Hope Navigator trainings each year. This includes following each Hope Navigator group and their Hope goal through completion. The goal of this grant is to increase positive outcomes for the clients we serve, decrease burnout in staff and to develop a practice model manual.

Colored states represent OFIs reach!

Meet the OFI Team

President and Executive Director

OFI's Core Values

While our programs are based on intensive research and “real-world” practice, Omni Family Institute’s approach is also inspired by a set of values that define how and why we do what we do. These values ground our practice and guide our decisions.

Our goal is to transform the landscape of evidence-based care for those impacted by the child-welfare system. We do this through hope, empowerment, and trauma-informed tools to promote growth and forward movement, until everyone thrives.

Relationships are key.

Children thrive when open communication is supported among youth, agency staff and caregivers.

Trauma informs us.

Past trauma impacts present behavior, so we approach our work with a trauma-informed focus.

Evidence guides us.

Fidelity to evidence-based practice leads to equal partnership between parents and agency staff.

We provide tools, not punishment.

We reject punitive and harmful measures and embrace a strength-based, educational approach with youth.

Physical and emotional health are both priorities.

We believe agencies must be intentional in nurturing both emotional and physical health for youth, parents, and staff.

We honor the individual.

Race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, spirituality, kinship, and other aspects of individual identity must be respected.

We look beyond childhood.

Caregivers share responsibility to teach youth skills to prepare for adulthood.

Learning inspires growth.

Agencies can best serve youth and parents when there is openness to professional growth.

Who We Are Informs Our Work.

Interested in learning more about OFI’s training and support programs?