About

NFI Massachusetts, Inc: Maximizing Potential

Our History

Dr. Yitzak Bakal
Dr. Yitzhak Bakal

NFI Massachusetts was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1974, a time of progressive reforms in the Commonwealth’s approach to various social issues. The agency’s founder, Dr. Yitzhak Bakal, a former Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services, was a visionary leader in the development of the state’s early community-based services for adjudicated youth who were residing in institutional training schools. Since then, NFI has been a pioneer in designing and operating innovative community-based programming for various service populations.

From its original Outreach and Tracking program 42 years ago, NFI has grown into an organization that offers over thirty programs funded by the Massachusetts Departments of Mental Health (DMH), Developmental Services (DDS), Children and Families (DCF) and Youth Services (DYS) plus the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC), Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) and various insurance companies.

NFI Massachusetts is affiliated with the North American Family Institute (NAFI) that is comprised of several subsidiary corporations and regions. In total, NAFI operates human service programs and provides training and consultation in ten states.

Throughout its history, NFI’s services have been designed to be highly individualized, providing service recipients

NFI MA Executive Director Steve Hahn
NFI MA Executive Director Steve Hahn

with the opportunity to gain increased insight into their lives, learn useful skills that will help them achieve their personal goals, receive services in the least restrictive setting possible and, despite the complexity of their needs, experience community living to the fullest. NFI promotes the development of caring, supportive, normative communities that draw on the support of peers, professional staff and other significant people and organizations. Often, this involves engaging family members, friends, schools, faith communities and other community service organizations as active partners in treatment, to the maximum extent possible. Such supportive relationships and connections reduce the likelihood of setbacks and help sustain the gains made during each individual’s treatment experience.

Our broad range of services can be found under the categories of Behavioral Health, Adult, Foster Care, Juvenile Justice, and Ambulatory programming.

Our Mission

NFI MA VideoMaximizing potential to achieve the full promise of community living

All NFI Massachusetts staff members are fully committed to engaging and inspiring each service recipient in a strength-based, individual and/or family focused treatment process that seeks to improve the physical, emotional and social quality of their lives.

Our services embrace and utilize:

  • Person-centered approaches
  • Evidence-based and best treatment practices
  • Gender-responsive, trauma-informed and culturally responsive care for all individuals and families
  • Family preservation or reunification strategies

We help:

  • Establish hope for the future.
  • Support individuals and families to take the lead role in treatment.
  • Teach skills that maximize self-determination.
  • Increase capacity for internal control of difficult emotions and challenging behaviors.
  • Support progress toward goals that are relevant to the person(s) served.

We achieve this by:

  • Partnering and collaborating with individuals and families.
  • Supporting learning and change via teaching, coaching and relationship-building.
  • Utilizing strategies such as negotiation and mediation whenever possible to resolve challenging situations.