Community Change: Lessons from Making Connections

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

May 2, 2013


This report starts with an overview of the Making Connections initiative and its focus on improving outcomes for disadvantaged children. Strategies include strengthening 1) family connections to economic opportunity, 2) positive social networks and 3) trustable services and supports in local neighborhoods and communities. The report offers a set of overarching lessons that emerged from the work, including recognizing and dealing with the complexity of place-based community change efforts, the importance of parent and resident engagement, using a data-driven approach and defining success.   

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Advancing the field of community change

Although Making Connections did not achieve the population-level changes in the initiative neighborhoods, it did advance strategies that are helping drive the community change field today, including the importance of 3rd grade reading proficiency to improving high school graduation rates, and the need for simultaneous focus on children and parents to combat intergenerational poverty.

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations