Meeting the needs of children and families in the area of child welfare presents among the most challenging and complex problems facing our communities. Children in foster care require individualized planning and support that meet both their physical and emotional needs, offers them stability and safety, allows them an education, and gives them a meaningful opportunity to enjoy productive lives as adults. Los Angeles County—which has our nation’s largest child welfare system—and the Weingart Foundation have been involved in improving the lives of children and families in foster care for decades.
The Foundation launched the Child Welfare Initiative in 2008, and requested a comprehensive review of new programs, policy changes and best practices in order to improve outcomes and conditions for at-risk youth and families involved with the child welfare system. From that review, the Initiative’s goal was to develop an action plan for using finite philanthropic dollars to catalyze reforms in child welfare that ultimately could achieve independent financial sustainability.