OVERVIEW AND WHY NOW:
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the undeniable fact that, for large numbers of children and families in the San Francisco Bay Area, the opportunity for economic security and healthy child development eroded or never truly existed. We cannot unsee that structural racism and gender discrimination undergirds our systems and our institutions, contributing to violence (e.g., domestic violence) and widespread economic, educational, health, and social disparities that negatively impact future generations. No matter the circumstances of a person’s birth or how their life has unfolded, now is the time to ensure that all children and their families experience equal measures of respect, dignity, fair treatment, and opportunity. All children possess unique skills and talents, and they need to be supported, nurtured, and developed. We should be doing everything we can to make sure the potential of every child is supported in our communities. This requires a disruption of business as usual and calls for breakthrough thinking to reimagine and create the experiences and conditions we know help children, families, communities, and society thrive and prosper.
We know the safety and well-being of children and their caregivers are inextricably linked, and that exposure to adversity in the earliest years of life have long lasting and negative effects through life. Today, parental mental health is worsening, children’s behavioral health is declining, and families have diminished access to foundational supports, including food, affordable housing, education, and health care. Tragically, children are more vulnerable to the experience of toxic stress and trauma, and, as a result are at greater risk for exposure to domestic violence, substance use, child abuse, and mental health challenges as their families try to cope with the added stresses of COVID-19, structural racism, and gender discrimination
Children, families, and communities are resilient – we know this too. They know best what they need, and how to identify meaningful and scalable opportunities to reach their full potential, achieve sustained health, heal from trauma, and enhance their well-being. They can accomplish all this and more if policy leaders and support systems seek their involvement to co-design relevant and responsive solutions – at home, in health clinics, in the community, and at school – to address the underlying conditions causing domestic violence, adversity, and family instability. Through All In For Kids, we are looking to invest in community efforts to ensure that families and children, especially our youngest ones, do not suffer lasting mental and physical effects of inequity, stress, trauma, and adversity.
COLLABORATIONS THAT ALL IN FOR KIDS WILL SUPPORT:
All In For Kids will provide grant funding and learning opportunities over the course of three years for public and non-profit organizations to learn from and work in collaboration with community partners in order to strengthen the social, emotional, and physical well-being of children (birth – age 5) and families in the San Francisco Bay Area 12-county region. (The 12-County Region includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Mateo, Solano and Sonoma County.)
All In For Kids aims to be an incubator and learning hub to foster promising approaches to reimagining how systems, services and community-based supports can better address and prevent childhood adversity/trauma, racial inequities and achieve healthy gender norms. Investment will include grant funding, technical assistance, learning exchange and evaluation. Sites will be responsible for timely data collection and participation in a cohort evaluation. All In For Kids will prioritize efforts that embed sustainability, spread and scale. Rather than investing in direct services or existing efforts that advance the status quo, this initiative will invest selectively in innovative efforts to reimagine how support systems can interrupt childhood adversity with more community resonant opportunities for racial and gender justice, healing, and prevention.
Disrupting business as usual to create and sustain the experiences and conditions that help children, families, and communities thrive and prosper requires community led design and work at both the systems and policy level. Therefore, applicants working to achieve the All In For Kids’ outcomes are invited to apply through one of the following opportunities:
By changing systems and policies, All In For Kids looks to:
- Invest in multisector collaborations that center racial and gender equity to implement innovative, community-led strategies or policy changes that ensure children (birth – age 5) reach their full potential, achieve sustained health, heal from trauma, and enhance well-being by diversifying available supports and developing comprehensive and integrated systems of health, safety, education, housing, and economic supports for caregivers and families.
Focusing on innovative system change, All In For Kids will provide:
- Up to $750,000 over three years (10-15 awards up to $250,000 per year) for public and private collaborations in partnership with communities across the San Francisco Bay Area 12-county region to drive impact through multisector collaborations, upstream prevention strategies, policy accelerators, resident/community engagement, two-generation approaches, and innovative financing levers that braid public and private funds. With these targeted investments, All In For Kids will serve as an incubator and learning hub to identify innovative integrated system change strategies and community led policy levers showcasing efforts that can be sustained, replicated, and scaled for the state and nation.
Successful grantees will embed these guiding principles into their proposal design:
- Equity at the Center – Child and family support systems measure and intentionally work to close racial disparities and address racism and may also work to eliminate gender discrimination.
- Multisector – Child and family sectors collaborate as interconnected ecosystems with shared goals and metrics across the areas of physical and mental health, family violence prevention, economic security, housing, food, education, childcare and social services.
- Lived Experience – Communities rethink systems of care and support based on guidance and inclusion in decision-making by people with lived experience who are most affected by health inequities, family violence, and economic disparities.
- Upstream/Prevention – Organizations and community efforts are geared not just towards healing after harm, but to preventing childhood adversity and intergenerational trauma before it happens.
- Two-generation – Program and policy approaches cultivate family well-being by recognizing the needs of children and adults are inextricable linked and simultaneously work with children and the adults in their lives together, whether it be moms, dads, grandparents, or other caregivers.
- Innovative Financing – Solutions expand investment in early childhood systems through creative financing, such as aligning, leveraging, and/or braiding multiple funding sources (public and private) to sustain impact.
- Policy Accelerators – Advocacy complements and augments available policy levers to advance the work, including state and federal leadership on equity and early childhood development and well-being.
- Spread and Scale – Change efforts embed sustainability, spread and scale as priorities.
Eligible Uses Of Funding:
- Staffing and facilitation of collaboration and community engagement
- Program or systems innovation and experimentation
- Supports for community engagements (such as stipends, child care, etc.)
- Coordination of systems to identify, refer and track data of participation in programs
- Development and implementation of data analytics and data sharing
- Development of sustainable financing
- Policy planning, research and analysis
- Conducting local evaluation
- Participation in the All In For Kids evaluation and learning effort
Grantees will be required to participate in the following activities and should consider the time requirements and need to provide data in developing the staff and budget proposal:
- Cohort Evaluation. There is no requirement that each grantee develop its own evaluation plan. However, grantees must work with the cohort evaluator to select measures and indicators to assess progress related to goals of All In For Kids and submit local data as requested by the evaluator.
- Learning Community. Grantees will be required to participate in a learning collaborative that will engage grantees in:
- Active peer exchange of ideas, successes, progress toward outcomes and challenges experienced. It is expected that the learning collaborative will operate through monthly phone/webinar and annual grantee meetings.
- Technical assistance opportunities as identified by grantees and funders.
Successful Community Collaboration Applicants Will:
- Demonstrate readiness for action and impact across collaborations.
- Demonstrate a commitment and history of engaging those most affected by adversity.
- Propose approaches that incorporate race/gender equity, prevention, two-generation approaches and power sharing with parents/caregivers in practice and program.
- Demonstrate shared understanding of the root causes of adversity and a systems change mindset.
- Pilot financing and policy innovation to address inequities and build family and community resilience.
- Incorporate sustainability as a core principle.
- Show high potential for expansion, replication, and scaling.
Successful Policy Coalitions or Organizational Applicants Will:
- Demonstrate a history of successful policy change efforts.
- Demonstrate readiness for action and impact.
- Demonstrate a commitment and history of engaging those most impacted by adversity.
- Advance policies that incorporate race/gender equity, prevention, two-generation approaches and addresses root causes of adversity.
- Incorporate financing, sustainable system changes and scaling of solutions that work as part of policy proposals.
“It is well known, for example, that a significant percentage of women who have been unable to secure stable employment are burdened by limited education, depression, family violence, and substance abuse, all of which are well-documented threats to the well-being of children.” Shonkoff (2017, p.5). We also know that chronic adversity negatively impacts children and adults alike with lifelong consequences for health, learning, and behaviors even though there may be significant variation in their presentation. Additionally, violence against women and violence against children share many risk and protective factors, yet current systems of care, supports, and efforts to heal are independently funded and often siloed with few supports and offerings that address both the needs of children and their caregivers simultaneously or comprehensively. See for example, Science, Policy, and the Young Developing Child, Three Principles to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, and Adult and Child-Survivor Centered Approach for Addressing Domestic Violence.