In 2012, the Annie E. Casey Foundation began searching for partners for its seven-year Family-Centered Community Change™(FCCC) initiative. This report reviews the Foundation’s experiences and contributions as an investor and summarizes what the participating communities — Buffalo, New York; Columbus, Ohio; and San Antonio, Texas — learned about using a two-generation approach to working with children and parents.
FCCC is a place-based strategy devoted to improving outcomes for children and parents living in high-poverty neighborhoods. The initiative works to bolster family well-being in three key areas: 1) economic stability; 2) parent engagement and leadership; and 3) early child care and education.
An investment from a national foundation can help partners secure additional support from federal and state governments, local funders or other major philanthropies. As a result, partners can spend less time fundraising and more time strengthening their capabilities and programming.
It’s important to build consensus on what success looks like and how to measure it. This is a critical conversation to have with both partners and funders — and it is a process.
A Difference Maker
Clear communication — at all levels — is key. Open and honest dialogue undergirds the development of coordinated plans for families and enables the identification of shared goals and accountability among collaborative partners — funders included.
Statements & Quotations
Having great local programs and services isn’t enough. FCCC is about building communities’ capacity and infrastructure so that those pieces can be aligned in the ways most helpful to and supportive of whole families.
– Amoretta Morris, director of the Foundation’s National Community Strategies
Local leaders cannot “service” their way out of poverty. Turning this tide will require comprehensive policy solutions that create more equitable pathways to opportunity, coupled with services and resources that help both children and their families to achieve stability and succeed.