THE CI STORY
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. 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.
Created the San Diego Expanded Learning Consortium, bringing together 29 local school districts and the County Office of Education. This effort resulted in helping San Diego school districts secure millions of dollars to support before and after school programs for low income students, currently serves more than 44,000 students each school day.
Produce the award-winning San Diego County Report Card on Children and Families. A publication that guides policy, budget and program development for the entire County of San Diego.
Worked with school districts in San Diego County to identify children who are chronically absent and partnered with school staff, parents and students to develop attendance improvement strategies to prevent chronic absenteeism and improve academic success.
Developed local and state policies and programs to support services for at risk youth, currently supporting more than 5,000 youth in community based programming
Developed workshops and trainings on helping parents, caregivers and preschool staff prevent childhood injuries-educate more than 1,000 parents annually
Developed the first intergenerational second grade literacy program in partnership with AARP in San Diego.