California Connected by 25 Initiative

Stuart Foundation and Walter S. Johnson Foundation

The Challenge:  Leveraging the Results of a Multi-Site Initiative to Influence Child Welfare Practice

Every year more than 4,000 young people age out of California’s foster care system and far too many exit without the safety net or life skills they need to succeed. To address the barriers that transitioning foster youth face, the Stuart Foundation and Walter S. Johnson Foundation created the California Connected by 25 Initiative (CC25I) to transform county child welfare practice and improve outcomes in key areas of the lives of foster youth ages 14 through 24. Grants were provided to child welfare departments in Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Orange, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Solano, and Stanislaus counties to develop community partnerships, engage and empower youth, and collect and evaluate data. Through the course of the initiative, the county sites were able to improve education, permanency, housing, and other critical outcomes for transition age foster youth, ultimately increasing their opportunities and ability to succeed in life.

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Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health

The Challenge: Creating a Comprehensive Data Source and Sharing it with Multiple Audiences, a program of the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, promotes the health and well being of children by making a wide variety of data free and easily accessible to policymakers, service providers, grantseekers, media, parents, and others who influence kids’ lives. The Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health initially hired i.e. communications to expand the content of their website With the goal of providing comprehensive data on child and health well being to inform policy decisions, the foundation needed a consultant that could not only identify, collect, and analyze large sets of data accurately and efficiently, but also organize and share the data in a way that made sense to the general public and policymakers.

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Healthy Returns Initiative

The California Endowment 

The Challenge:  Communicating Complex “Systems Change” to Policymakers and the Public

Across the nation and in California, youth with unaddressed mental and physical health issues are entering the juvenile justice system at alarming rates.  Although a primary goal of the California juvenile justice system is the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders, county probation departments lack appropriate placement options for youth with severe mental illness and have limited access to community-based services for youth with less severe mental health and substance abuse disorders. These inadequacies contribute to the ineffective use of probation resources and longer stays for youth in detention facilities.

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Illinois Campaign to Prevention Gun Violence

Joyce Foundation   

The Challenge: Reframing the Debate on Gun Violence to Mobilize Voters and Pass Legislation

Gun violence in Illinois is a serious public health issue killing more than a 1,000 residents every year. Despite overwhelming public support, passage of commonsense gun laws has stalled year after year in the Illinois General Assembly due to a well-organized and extremely vocal gun lobby.  At the same time, the opposition has consistently pushed for new gun laws that would endanger Illinois citizens and erode local governments’ ability to enact strong firearm ordinances.  Currently, Illinois is one of two states in the nation that does not allow the concealed carrying of weapons.

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Frequent Users of Health Services Initiative

California HealthCare Foundation and The California Endowment

The Challenge:  Leveraging Evaluation Results to Replicate a Model Program

Many of California’s hospital emergency departments are faced with the burden of treating certain individuals repeatedly. These “frequent users” often have multiple physical, mental, and social needs, such as mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness. Launched in 2002, the Frequent Users of Health Services Initiative was a six-year joint project of The California Endowment and the California HealthCare Foundation, with program support from the Corporation for Supportive Housing. Its purpose was to test new care models for “frequent users” through pilot programs in six counties.

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