Our Founder's Story
The Foundation for Family Life (FFL) was created in 2010 by Dr. Joseph White to promote healthy family and individual life experiences. FFL's Executive Director Joseph White shares his history of how he overcame addiction and incarceration, started his family, and ultimately began the foundation. His story of success was only possible through his faith in God, perseverance, and a dedication to living true to his values. He hopes to share the peace, love, and hope he has found through his faith with others who join us at the Foundation for Family Life.
Foundation for Family Life Framework
Successful individuals & families experiencing relationship harmony & growth through life’s joys & challenges.
- Family: We honor parents & believe families have an eternal impact on individual development & progress
- Individual: We believe each soul has worth, agency, & the ability to find purpose
- Relationships: We believe we have a stewardship in promoting love, joy, hope, & harmony in our relationships
- Education: We believe education enhances meaning, problem solving, relationship development, & prosperity
- Service: We believe there is a healing power & growth that comes through serving others
- Spirituality: We believe spirituality undergirds healthy families, self-worth, & individual purpose.
To empower individuals & families to improve their lives through quality programs & services.
To help families & individuals learn, practice, & commit to healthy communication, effective parenting, enriched relationship skills, & lasting recovery.
- Promote Family Life Center services for the community
- Host engaging Family Life Conferences for academics, professionals, practitioners, & community members
- Maintain MentorWorks Healthy Transition Home services for those transitioning from incarceration
- Provide exceptional addiction recovery treatment through Redwood Recovery
- Promote principles of spirituality, self-reliance, self-worth, & healthy relationships through all FFL activities.
Sioux Falls Fatherhood Initiative
With his background in psychology and family studies, Dr. Joseph White recognized the importance of involved and supportive fathers in promoting healthy child development and family well-being. He collaborated with various organizations, community leaders, and policymakers in South Dakota to develop and implement the Fatherhood Initiative—an innovative program aimed at empowering fathers and fostering positive father-child relationships.
Through the Fatherhood Initiative, Dr. White and his collaborators worked to create a comprehensive support system for fathers. This included workshops, seminars, and support groups where fathers could learn effective parenting skills, communication strategies, and healthy relationship dynamics. The program also focused on addressing the unique challenges faced by fathers, promoting their mental health and well-being, and fostering positive co-parenting relationships.
Dr. White’s dedication to the Fatherhood Initiative in South Dakota brought about positive changes in the lives of countless families. By emphasizing the importance of involved fatherhood and providing fathers with the tools and support they need, the initiative aimed to create stronger family bonds, improve child outcomes, and contribute to healthier communities.
Dr. White share his insights into “Inspired Parenting Across the Life Course” (video & audio available). Parenting is an incredibly important responsibility requiring ongoing introspection and inspiration. How can parents help children navigate challenges, tempests, and storms as they grow and mature across life? Seeking the Lord’s help, a spouse’s insight, and effective communication styles makes all the difference in the long run. Discussion of three models provides keys to strengthening parenting skills and experiences.
Dr. White’s Biosketch
Dr. Joseph White has worked in the prevention sciences field for over two decades. His work has focused on substance abuse prevention, responsible fatherhood, psychosocial development, and risk prevention programs and strategies for adolescents and adults. He is president of the Foundation for Family Life and has developed the following programs and services for improving family life: The Family Life Center provides a variety of family services to the local community that include counseling, family life coaching, parenting classes, and other family fun activities. Redwood Recovery is an Intensive Outpatient Program for substance abuse recovery. MentorWorks is a program providing Healthy Transition Homes for those trying to change their course in life, especially with respect to developing a sober life style. The Family Life Conference provides a forum for family scholars, practitioners, and the community to share ideas and insights into what works best in supporting and creating healthy family life.
Dr. White previously served as vice president of the Institute for Research and Evaluation. Prior to that he was a professor in Human Development and Family Studies for 10 years at South Dakota State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University in 1997, co-founded the Dakota Fatherhood Initiative, co-authored the book Why Fathers Count, and has designed, developed, and implemented fatherhood programs in a variety of settings. He also worked with Dakota and Lakota tribes throughout Indian country to develop a culturally-specific, family-oriented alcohol, drug, and suicide prevention program called Takoja Niwiciyape: Giving Life to the Grandchildren (Dakota pronunciation for the first 2 words of the title is: Tah-ko’ zha Nee-wee’ chee-yah-pai, with emphasis on the second syllable-with the accent mark after it).
Joseph and Alice, his wife, have been married for over 32 years and are blessed with 8 children and 5 grandchildren.