BelongLA – Engaging Angelenos to connect, share and transform their neighborhoods and lives

submission by Children's Bureau

Organization Name

:

Children’s Bureau

Website

:

http://www.all4kids.org

Indicator

Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Social Connectedness

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?

:

How do you belong? Belonging is the deepest sense of being socially connected and research shows that belonging can lead to Community Well-Being. We are sparking a community movement to belong and much more. Through the collective effort of organizations and people working together, we will change the destiny for all children, families and their neighborhoods, particularly the most vulnerable ones. We are creating a “Belong” model/framework that can be replicated by other diverse neighborhoods in Los Angeles and beyond using their unique assets!


What if all of us belong and we work to create communities where we would want to belong? We want to belong to neighborhoods where kids are healthy and educationally successful. We want to belong to neighborhoods where parents can be nurturing parents and economically secure and where the institutions/organizations in a community work to nurture success and belongingness.


Could this concept of Belong become a Community Movement? Could this happen by strengthening one’s ties to their neighbors? Could we nurture this by supporting a cadre of volunteer community ambassadors? These ambassadors will be champions for belonging, champions for kids and families to succeed. Ambassadors will connect people to people, to community groups, to important information, and to critical resources. What if a community ambassador on every block eventually grew into EVERYONE on the block feeling like they belong and contributing to the health and well being of everyone who lives near them? And, what if the organizations and institutions in a community learn how to nurture this?


We are starting this movement in 500 blocks in metropolitan Los Angeles where children and parents are struggling to overcome the many challenges of isolation and generational poverty. We are engaging a diverse network of over 75 organizations of all types to create a community where people want to belong. These public and private partners have a shared vision that the 35,000 children living in the neighborhoods within a 500 block catchment area will break all records of success in their education, health, and the quality of nurturing care and economic stability they receive from their families and community. Our ultimate dream is to not only transform these 500 blocks, but to also develop a scalable and replicable framework that other communities can use to achieve a population level change.


The Belong movement has started with 25 Community Ambassadors who are volunteering their time to increase and improve social connections in their neighborhoods. We are training the ambassadors, and our organizational partners, to incorporate and promote the protective factors in their efforts. Protective Factors such as social connections, concrete support in times of need, and personal resilience have been shown to lead to stronger families and communities.


With an LA2050 grant, our Belong movement plans to recruit a Community Ambassador for every block in the catchment area. We will employ 3 Initiative Representatives and a Belong Campaign Manager to increase social connections leading to an overall improvement in community well-being. The representatives will engage community groups, recruit and support Community Ambassadors, and facilitate a series of weekly discussion sessions offered in multiple settings throughout the 500 blocks with the goal of helping residents create new social connections, increase ties to neighbors, and encourage neighbors to actively participate in community events. All Community Ambassadors will be trained so that they too can lead the series of discussions to expand our reach and impact.


We will also employ social media tools on the ground level to advance the movement. Children’s Bureau will partner with Wondros, an internationally recognized communications and social media agency, to create a 5 minute YouTube video and mobile app that will inspire the community residents, community organizations and local businesses to Belong. The mobile app will be used to help the 75 partner organizations involved in the initiative assist families, parents and adults in identifying and connecting with local community groups and with locating critical resources in the community.


The Belong movement and resulting campaign will strengthen social connections and promote civic engagement by increasing community belonging, ownership of and access to information about their community, and mobilizing neighbors to support one another.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?

:

For over 100 years, Children’s Bureau has been a leader and innovator of child abuse treatment and prevention in Southern California. With a focus on young children, we were one of the first professional providers of foster care in the nation. Children’s Bureau was a vital partner in establishing the Community Chest, a precursor to United Way and played a key role in establishing the USC School of Social Work. In the 1980’s we transitioned from focusing on treatment and moving on to prevention as a key means of keeping children safe from harm. Our successes in the critical battle to prevent child abuse earned us a highly regarded reputation. The California Department of Social Services’ Office of Child Abuse Prevention awarded Children’s Bureau a grant to form the Family Resource Center Technical Training and Support Team which acts as a training model for other organizations. Children’s Bureau continues to be awarded numerous contracts and grants to implement county programs designed to protect vulnerable children and enhance their lives. We are one of a small group of agencies in Los Angeles County nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, Inc.

Our NuParent program received international recognition in Spring 2012 with an invitation to present the program, measurement tools and results at the 8th Annual British Association for the Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.

In 2008, we successfully completed a $22 million capital campaign and opened our new headquarters in one of the poorest, most densely populated neighborhoods in Los Angeles. From this center we launched the Magnolia Community Initiative - a ground-breaking model for large scale community mobilization where children, especially those under age 5 living in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, break all records of success in their education and health milestones and in the nurturing they receive.

Our Magnolia Community Initiative has rapidly gained the attention and recognition of national leaders, policy-makers and funders including members of the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, The Tides Foundation, United Way Worldwide, Gates Foundation and East LA Initiative. Through our work with the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and Communities, we have collected and mapped the school readiness of young children in a 500 block area of Los Angeles. We are using this mapping data to help local communities map their needs and service gaps on a highly localized basis and engaging the community to improve these outcomes.

With an operating budget of $30 million and actively involved boards of directors and trustees, Children’s Bureau has the demonstrated depth of capacity, experience, relationships, and leadership to effect a community-wide transformation in Los Angeles.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.

:

Children’s Bureau has engaged 75 public and private partner organizations as well as individual community members who all have a shared vision for the transformation of this community through a collaborative alliance. Each of our diverse partners brings their own area of expertise to help shape the shared holistic outcome of strengthening communities. In particular, we will work closely with Children’s Nature Institute, LIFT-Los Angeles, and UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families and communities. Together we will promote the Belong Campaign and work to address four pillars that are key to healthy neighborhoods: health, school readiness, nurturing parenting, and economic stability.

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?

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The Magnolia Community Initiative currently measures progress and success through a measurement strategy that captures outcomes at the neighborhood, family and child levels. This is already established and involves capturing data on neighborhood and family conditions on a quarterly, annual and biannual basis. As part of the measurement strategy, the Initiative conducted resident surveys in 2009 and 2011. These Community Belonging Survey results show significant need for improvement in social connectedness and social support. For example, in 2011, 66% of residents had at least one neighbor with whom they could discuss a personal problem, 31% of residents know their neighbors and feel as if they care about the neighborhood; and 24% of residents participate in neighborhood activities. We are capturing data on social connections, ties to neighbors, perceptions of community, community belonging and civic participation.


Data is also displayed on a community dashboard that informs community residents and organizational staff what children and families are experiencing – in their neighborhoods and in their interactions with service systems. This is accompanied with ongoing support with problem solving and learning about how to improve or what we call “move the dot”.


We will be administering the Community Belonging Survey again in the Fall of this year, 2013. This provides for us a community trend line for us to understand if our strategies being introduced within the Belong Campaign have contributed to a change in social connectedness at the community level.

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

The pioneering work of Belong with its development of a neighborhood social movement will have significant benefit to Los Angeles. Belong will bring about a holistic community transformation by galvanizing and supporting neighborhood residents to create their own community response to improving their neighborhoods/communities and contributing to safe and supportive environments for their and the neighborhood’s children.

In a county as large as Los Angeles, it is virtually impossible for programs to keep up with service demand for individuals and families. Many of our neighborhoods and the people who live there are at great risk of the major social ills that concern us all: poverty, education failure, poor health, mental illness, violence, and domestic violence. There will continue to be limited government and philanthropic resources to address these large scale problems for the foreseeable future. And, the strategies that we do have as a society are relatively ineffective and too costly because they start too late when much of the damage has left scars in people’s lives. The harnessing of volunteer community ambassadors who will become champions for belonging and connecting people to social groups and critical resources is the breakthrough we need.

Belongingness is a deep level of social connections. And, based on research, belonging leads to community wellness. The development and implementation of such a strategy within a 500 block urban community of Los Angeles will serve as a laboratory for the development of a scalable and replicable model framework. This model framework that will be developed with this grant funding will be usable by the diverse communities of Los Angeles and beyond who wish to replicate using their own unique assets.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?

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Success in 2050 for Social Connectedness would mean that residents will take pride in and have a sense of belonging to the Los Angeles community. Neighbors will know neighbors and can rely on each other for daily support and in times of crisis or need. They will voluntarily work together to not only identify and voice concerns, but they will know how to work together to solve community problems. Through the process of becoming volunteer Community Ambassadors, residents will develop their leadership skills so they know how to engage local businesses, officials and other community members. In building these connections and social bonds, levels of trust among and between these groups will grow. They will gain a deeper understanding of the importance of investing in the early years in order to improve our children’s educational and economic outcomes thereby making Los Angeles a place where residents and businesses will thrive.

Discussion
23 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

By the GRACE of GOD, Children's Bureau will continue its LIFE Changing Programs
to the "WHOLE COMMNITY." by Fr. James

by Fr. James
almost 3 years ago

Go childrens bureau =) great proposal, great organization

by kanalee
almost 3 years ago

This is an outstanding proposal and one that absolutely deserves funding. How exciting to think that the "Belong" concept could spread to every community everywhere!

by CoachJudyNelson
almost 3 years ago

My vote has been cast! Best of luck!!!

by Rachelle29
almost 3 years ago

Grand idea!!!

by WINIFRED STANARD
about 3 years ago

Fantastic!

by goobyplz
about 3 years ago

My vote's been cast!

by Rigo.Tovilla
about 3 years ago

What an inspirational video!

by vanessa.mendez.980
about 3 years ago

We can do this!

by laura siegelman
about 3 years ago

Remember when we all knew our neighbors and helped each other? What a brilliant way to help each other.

by alanberkes
about 3 years ago

I grew up in LA for most of my life and I know how it feels to not belong. I didn't know my neighbors and felt isolated at times. This framework is necessary in LA - change starts within the community. I hope many others support this effort and vote!

by henrywu9876@gmail.com
about 3 years ago

what Children

by CarmineSalvucci
about 3 years ago

I support this effort

by emmanuel.torres.12
about 3 years ago

I support this effort

by emmanuel.torres.12
about 3 years ago

Our Children, Our Community, Our Future. I voted!

by Suzlakes
about 3 years ago

Sparking Hope for the Future!

by gogo.guir
about 3 years ago

Thank you for making the video. My highest respect to all those people in action.

by goscion
about 3 years ago

Great video!

by lekiliana
about 3 years ago

Good Luck, I just voted!

by frannny44@hotmail.com
about 3 years ago

I support this effort. It

by marthabreal4@yahoo.com
about 3 years ago

This is what Los Angeles needs! We are all disconnected - it

by dj72819
about 3 years ago

What a wonderful idea! Good luck!

by marylou092
about 3 years ago

awesome feedback

by emmanuel.torres.12
about 3 years ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08, 2013