Collaboration for Community Health Funded Partner Convening: May 11, 2023
The funded partners in the Collaboration for Community Health gathered in person at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury for an annual convening. This event was filled with networking and a timely discussion of the children’s mental and behavioral health crisis and what communities and sectors across Greater Boston can do together.
This was the first time since COVID that this cohort of funded partners met in person.
More than 120 individuals from over 50 organizations attended the event.
Shari Nethersole, MD, Vice President of Community Health and Engagement, gave opening remarks.
Attendees worked in small groups to discuss their work and completed an interactive activity that demonstrated the role of each organization in the lifecycle of a child.
Participants wrote on large circles that were displayed along a wall to demonstrate the many elements that can impact a child’s development.
Seating arrangements were organized to encourage and enhance networking.
The panel featured (from left): Catherine Vuky, PhD, South Cove Community Health Center and William James College; Jaykyri Simpson, MBA, Ed.D, Young Man With A Plan; Jenna Parafinczuk, Director of Student Support, Boston Public Schools; and Kevin Simon, MD, LLC, Boston Public Health Commission and Boston Children’s.
Amara Anosike, JD, Director of Behavioral Health Policy and Advocacy at Boston Children’s Hospital highlighted important child mental and behavioral health advocacy initiatives.
Youth from the Center for Teen Empowerment gave incredible performances that they prepared for the event. Their messages focused on building community, supporting mental health, and preventing violence.
The youth performances provided the perfect ending to the event.
Collaboration for Community Health
Boston Children’s Hospital is building on our history of partnering with the community to make a significant impact on the health of children and families. Funds are distributed as part of an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Determination of Need/Community Health Initiative program.
These funds — Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health — are supporting community organizations in addition to our ongoing commitments to programs and other partners.
If you have questions, email TalkToUs@childrens.harvard.edu.
The Collaboration for Community Health's 2022 Report is available. Click here. More details on the priority areas can be found in the Funding Strategy Report.
Updated as of April 2022.
Birth to 5
Funding in this area supports organizations serving children from birth to 5 years old. Projects include training opportunities for early childhood educators, strengthening the quality of early education, and increasing access to parenting resources and support services.
The Basics/Children’s Services of Roxbury Collaboration will provide strategies to parents and caregivers of children at risk of not being kindergarten-ready by coaching Children’s Services of Roxbury staffers to embed The Basics Principles into their services.
The Family-Centered Childcare Project will improve the social-emotional learning, growth, and development of children (birth to five) by increasing the knowledge and skills of parents/caregivers and child care teachers, also providing services to immigrant children and families.
Screen Every Child will expand the Ages and Stages Questionnaire screening and referral system in child care centers, family providers, and other support organizations, and increase the number of screens and referrals in Boston.
Healthy Wealthy and Wise 2.0 will provide a housing-based peer support system for families with young children using a network of caregivers and neighborhood residents trained to serve as health champions.
Every Child Shines will use a two-generational approach to address health and racial inequities among East Boston children and their families through parent engagement and leadership, and connecting family serving agencies.
Families First Power of Parenting and Parent Leadership programming will provide parenting education and support as well as a structured pathway for parents to become paid leaders in their community.
Family-Centered Operations and Capacity Building will build sustainable partnerships and strengthen internal systems and operations to improve programming.
Families Nurturing Together will support healthy child development among more than 100 families of color by building emotional, communication, and positive discipline skills, and ensuring families’ access to economic mobility services.
Read more about the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation.
Strengthening, Expanding, and Diversifying the Early Childhood Workforce to Equitably Support Very Young Children and Families will strengthen the early childhood workforce by supporting 130 practitioners through professional development and training.
Read more about the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Family Navigation Intervention: A Model for Addressing Barriers to Health Equity for Families Facing Adversities will promote early childhood education provider capacity to offer high-quality and family centered programming, as well as facilitate family access to health and health-related services.
Supporting the Well-Being of Parents and Young Children in Boston through Family Partners will connect families in the Boston Family Child Care network to identify challenges, share resources, and deliver targeted assistance to those in need.
Reaching Deeper, Serving Broader will increase the capacity of parents and caregivers to foster healthy early child development through dialogic reading strategies and family engagement with community ambassadors.
Expanding Room to Grow Support for Low-Income Boston Families will increase organizational capacity to serve twice the number of families through coaching on child development and parenting strategies, connection to community partners, and the distribution of essential baby items.
Advocacy Network for Early Education and Care formalizes a new advocacy infrastructure connecting regional advocates across the state; building their skills, knowledge, and advocacy expertise; and influencing state and local policy that advances an equitable system of high-quality early education and care.
Project Emergence: A Multilingual Collaboration to Support Young Children’s Mental Health and Well-Being will provide opportunities for early childhood educators and parents to develop an understanding of infant and early childhood mental health, improve their English language skills, and have affordable access to courses at Urban College of Boston.
Funding in this area supports organizations conducting projects to increase youth physical activity and recreation opportunities and/or increase access to healthy food options.
Healthy Pathways: Building Skills, Resiliency, and Joy Through Bicycle-Based Learning will support young people from under-resourced Boston neighborhoods to build skills, establish healthy habits, advance transportation equity, and develop a passion for cycling in safe, supported, trauma-sensitive environments.
Transforming the Food System through Community Ownership and Healthy Food for All will open a cooperative market to create access to affordable, nutritious food, build community wealth, and develop partnerships with urban farms and local health centers to enhance health, well-being, and equity in Dorchester.
Growing the Dudley Community Food Center will work with residents and stakeholders to plan and pilot expanded programs for the Community Food Center, a new facility that will support residents to access, grow, cook, share, and advocate for healthy food in Dudley.
Roxbury Rooted: Nourishing Youth and Community through Urban Farming at Haley House will provide opportunities for youth and families to connect with the land, grow, cook, and share food, and deepen relationships through urban farming, in partnership with the Hawthorne Youth & Community Center and YouthBuild Boston.
The Cooking with Confidence + Getting Physically Active Project will provide culturally based cooking classes and physical activity opportunities for families in Mattapan.
Powered by Playworks: Restoring access to safe, healthy play for Boston Public School students who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 will provide coaches to support and improve the health of 4,000 students across 10 schools in Boston by infusing play and physical activity throughout the school through daily recess, class game time, a peer leadership program, and afterschool sports leagues.
Hydroponics STEM Lab will provide youth and families with healthier food options, nutrition education, and hands-on experiences in cultivating their own organic foods and contributing to greater food access in their community.
Reconnecting and Reimagining Healthy Living for Somali-American Families in Boston will engage Somali-American families in workshops and conversations to encourage the adoption of sustainable, healthy behaviors, and strengthen partnerships between families and social service and health care providers.
Read more about the Somali Parents Advocacy Center for Education.
Entrepreneurship and Healing to Support South Street Center Youth will create entrepreneurship and employment opportunities to improve health and healing for youth of color in Jamaica Plain.
Healthy Eating for Boston’s Communities of Color will provide a food- and farming-related curriculum for schools, and add education offerings for adults and families in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan to increase their knowledge about growing food, cooking, and nutrition.
Connecting Kids and Families to Parks and Open Spaces will identify and address physical and social barriers to park access in East Boston in order to create a safe and welcome environment so all residents can enjoy their local parks and the associated health benefits.
Outdoor Adventures with YES! will engage youth from Roxbury, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Mattapan in outdoor physical activities by expanding partnerships with additional housing developments, community-based organizations, and/or schools.
Family Housing Stability and Economic Opportunity
Funding will support organizations that help to keep children and families in their homes and/or foster youth and family economic stability and mobility.
The Family-Led Stability Initiative will help the families of 500 students who are homeless by expanding collaboration from seven to 13 schools and partners.
The Chinatown Stabilization Project will focus on equitable recovery, prevent displacement, and remove housing from the speculative market in Chinatown.
The Care That Works Pilot will support low-income single mothers of color in Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury on pathways into family sustaining union jobs in industries.
Closing the Racial Homeownership Gap will expand the STASH-matched savings program for first-generation homebuyers to build generational wealth among families and children of color.
Read more about the Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance.
Building Wealth, Building Health in Roxbury will preserve affordable, quality housing and improve health outcomes by converting existing affordable rental homes to homeownership opportunities for residents of those units.
Housing Equity for Healthy Families is a multi-level individual, community, and public policy mobilization effort rooted in tenant organizing to stabilize Boston children and families permanently through direct support and establishment of new tenant protection public policies.
Mental Health Systems
This area funds projects that seek to improve accessible, culturally responsive, and supportive systems of mental and behavioral health care for children, youth, and families by expanding and diversifying the workforce.
The Boston College School of Social Work/Boston Public Schools Integrative Supervision Initiative will develop a multi-tiered supervision model for Black and Latino social workers. This work will strengthen the pipeline of a linguistically and culturally diverse mental health workforce serving Black and Latino children, youth, and families in Boston Public Schools.
Pathways to Mental Health Equity will provide a path to advancement for people of color in the mental health field through scholarships, peer group support, and licensure support. It will strengthen a two-way pipeline between higher education and the multicultural workforce by training 30 clinical interns.
The Simmons Workforce Wellbeing Empowerment Project will reduce workforce challenges contributing to inequalities in access and delivery of mental health care by strengthening the workforce via financial support for emerging practitioners. This program will offer a mandatory training intervention for practitioners that focuses on burnout, injustice, resilience, and positive psychology.
Read more about the Simmons University School of Social Work.
The THRIVE Scholars Program will increase access to a high-quality graduate education by preparing ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse social work students to be leaders and providers equipped with evidence-based and culturally responsive practices. The program will provide academic support, professional training and experience, and post-graduate and career development.
Read more about the Springfield College Department of Social Work.
BIRCh Project Fellows: Diversifying Children’s Behavioral Health Providers Across the Commonwealth aims to recruit, retain, and support 24 to 30 fellows from marginalized backgrounds across the state into graduate training programs to increase representation in the behavioral health field.
The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Initiative will train a culturally diverse behavioral health workforce to promote the health and well-being of children, youth, and families in underserved communities. The program will expand partnerships with community-based agencies to recruit 60 graduate students and offer mentorship and trainings for non-traditional and underrepresented behavioral health providers.
Healthy Youth Development
This initiative provides funding to projects that support trauma-informed, youth-centered programming and services to promote healthy youth development and resilience.
Creating HiSET Access and Career Path Development will help LGBTQ+ youth achieve their educational and professional goals in a supportive and culturally competent environment.
Career Connections for Opportunity Youth connects non-college-going high school graduates with job training, employment, and alternative pathways to college. This program aims to put youth on a path to career level employment, financial independence, and healthy adulthood.
Visionary Children & Youth @Brookview is a culturally responsive, trauma-informed behavioral health program to help Black and Latino children and youth who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This program helps participants develop skills to attain personal and academic success by addressing cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal, physical, and social factors.
Reducing the Impact of Trauma on Foster Youth Through Permanency will increase organizational capacity and focus on permanency by ensuring each youth exiting foster care has a safe, secure parenting relationship. The program will also develop best practice through trainings, skill building, and professional development.
Beats, Rhymes and Life, a group hip-hop therapy program, uses the power of written and spoken word for young people to heal from trauma, explore creativity, collaborate, and build leaders. This program aims to give a voice to young people who are used to having their story told instead of telling it themselves.
Teen Empowerment Boston: A Culturally Responsive Trauma-Informed Mental Health & Wellness Program will provide monthly trainings on culturally responsive trauma-informed practices to increase the agency’s capacity to improve access to quality mental health and wellness supports for youth who have experienced adverse childhood experiences and health disparities.
Preparing Urban Students for Success in Higher Education will advance college access and post-secondary success for students by providing comprehensive services focused on holistic youth development, with the goal of increasing college graduation rates and career readiness.
Greatest MINDS Youth Mentoring Program will provide mentoring and high-touch support services to young people as they explore college, career, and volunteerism as a way to bring about positive change in their family, community, and neighborhoods.
Jóvenes en Acción/Youth in Action provides youth with supports in Afro-Latin arts, education, and organizing that support their health and well-being, as well as their success in adulthood.
IBA’s Youth Development Program prepares 50 low-income high school students for college and professional careers each year by offering an employment-based, arts-focused program that explores themes of social justice.
The Roxbury Youth Leadership and Empowerment Project-Soheil Turner Youth Leadership Institute will improve access to comprehensive, year-round youth workforce readiness and training, paid employment, mentoring, leadership development, and college and career exploration for youth of color ages 14 to 24.
The Capacity-Building/Trauma-Responsive Project will expand programming reach and organizational capacity through a merger with the former Dorchester Youth Collaborative. This initiative will increase partnerships, training, and resilience for youth, staff, and mentors.
MJE Trauma Informed Youth Services will support healthy development and trauma recovery for 600 youth, and connect 600 families with case management and supportive services.
Youth Health Education and Virtual Health Solutions in Greater Boston will provide 6,000 young people with health education, and access to an expanding suite of digital and direct resources via school- and community-based partnerships.
The Grove Hall Healthy Youth Development and Trauma Response Initiative will continue to expand outreach and trauma support capacity in the Cape Verdean community while increasing prevention work through the Grove Hall Youth Center organizing campaign.
The Transition-Age Youth Initiative provides young people in Boston foster care (ages 16+) with committed mentors and the opportunity to learn life skills and access additional resources to prepare for independent adulthood.
The Youth Leadership Program will engage 570 youth leaders ages 11 to 21 through greater emotional and wellness support during programming that promotes healthy healing through to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, fear, trauma, and depression as a result of the COVID pandemic.
The Racial Reconciliation and Healing Project will support high school-age youth from Boston and beyond, as well as faculty trainees, in a framework and process that allows for lifelong engagement in the work of racial justice and collective liberation.
The College and Career Pathways Initiative supports and empowers young people from Boston. This program guides youth toward discovering their own successful college and career pathways, culminating in a college degree and/or full-time employment.
Building Young Man with a Plan’s Capacity and Partnerships will increase its ability to serve a growing number of students and alumni, and expand and formalize partnerships that help students access college and career success.
The Children's Mental Health Campaign will engage in targeted efforts to operationalize behavioral health equity as their focus. With support from experts and partners, CMHC will develop goals, strategies, processes, and tools for ensuring that policy priorities, external communications, and organizational culture facilitate the promotion of behavioral health equity. They will partner with the Massachusetts Public Health Association to develop policy priorities in these areas. Consultation from the CMHC will also be available to the other funded partners in the Collaboration for Community Health.
HCFA will build a strong consumer voice to advocate for children by providing policy and advocacy training and technical assistance to Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health partners and ensure that MassHealth Accountable Care Organizations are responsive to children’s needs through monitoring, assessment, and collaboration with key stakeholders.