Mission Statement: The Children’s Initiative improves the health, safety, education and economic security of San Diego’s children and families. Through the use of data, research and collaboration we develop quality programs and effective policies, create innovative community solutions and build strong partnerships to ensure children and families thrive and prosper.
Advancing Health and Wellness: The Children’s Initiative works to remove barriers in improving the health and wellbeing of children and families by developing community-led innovative services, programs and policies. The Initiative provides leadership, collaboration, system reform strategies and technical assistance to public and private organizations to reduce costs and duplication and expand community capacity. By engaging resident and government stakeholders, identifying promising and evidence-based practices we eliminate barriers to individual and community health and wellness. The Initiative is unique in its role in implementing and sustaining effective solutions in the fields of health, education, and safety. We develop creative and cost effective approaches such as using real-time data to target dollars to highest need vulnerable communities, building collaboration between health and justice organizations to eliminate duplication and expand access to uninsured families through school based outreach.
History: The Children’s Initiative was established in 1992, by five local San Diego foundations and more than 40 community and public leaders, to serve as an advocate and custodian for effective policies, programs and services that support the health and well-being of children, youth and families in San Diego County. The Children’s Initiative is dedicated to assisting children, youth and families thrive and prosper by providing leadership, advocacy, cross system collaboration, training and technical assistance to government entities, community organizations, schools and businesses. The Initiative draws upon more than 20 years of experience, working across the areas of health, education, community safety, and economic security. The Initiative’s unique community role includes: using data and research to drive change, developing innovative community solutions, and building lasting partnerships to implement positive system and policy change. The Initiative assists organizations and institutions to: identify and translate data and research into tangible action for change, listen and respond to community needs, provide training and technical assistance, promote evidence-based and promising practices and directly change policies, practices and legislation to support children, families and communities. Persistence in forging effective partnerships, driven by research and data and what is proven to work at local level, have directly resulted in concrete system and practice reform, passage of numerous supportive policies and legislation and improved and expanded services.
Staff has broad-base knowledge and experience in the fields of education, juvenile justice, social work, and health. The Board of Directors reflects the spectrum of service systems for children and families, including, but not limited to the: County of San Diego Chief Administrative Officer, School Superintendent and School Board Association representative, County Health and Human Services Director, Chief of Police and Chief of Probation. The Initiative’s CEO, Sandra McBrayer, is a national and state leader in juvenile justice and education and is a former United States Teacher of the Year.
The Initiative’s work is based on the fact that we believe we must consistently measure the health and well-being of our children, engaging families and communities to identify the needs, gaps and assets of our region. The Initiative’s flagship product is the San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families, which monitors the health and well-being of children and youth by using 25 indicators reflecting health, education, child welfare, juvenile justice, violence and injury prevention, and economic well-being. Each indicator in the Report Card highlights evidence-based practices in prevention and intervention and makes San Diego specific policy, system reform and program recommendations for local action. The San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families is used by the County Board of Supervisors, local and state elected officials, agency directors and staff, schools, and nonprofit organizations to guide program, budget, and policy decisions. The last Report Card received an Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties.
Mission Support Grant Application Video
Mission Support Grant Award Video