The Eye of the Storm

Ten Years on the Front Lines of New Futures

Posted January 1, 1999
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Get the Full Report:
Download Report
Aecf The Eye Of The Storm Cover1


Helpful services aren’t really at the core of how kids survive, much less thrive. But that was an unknown for Casey’s first attempt at comprehensive community change. The New Futures initiative granted $10 million over five years to each of five cities willing to experiment with collaborative, comprehensive, public private approaches to the multiple problems of “at-risk” children. And then they found out that community change requires both collaboration and confrontation, because systems won’t reform without a strong public demand for it, while at-risk kids just want a bonding relationship that matters. This reflection presents the lessons that shaped Casey's work for almost two decades. 

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations

Key Takeaway

community leaders can help push system reform

The true leaders for community change efforts are people who have “mother wit,” who put their noses into other people’s business, who watch out for the children. These are people who, with additional training and resources, can be very powerful.