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Grant Process

We welcome conversations to expand our understanding of the challenges and solutions identified by impacted families and communities; but in an effort to be mindful of your valuable time, we suggest that you thoroughly review the Foundation's mission, strategy, and current grantees to ensure that your organization and proposal are consistent with our strategic direction before contacting us.​ If you believe there is an opportunity for strong partnership, please email info@rhfdn.org to connect.

Strategy Development and Idea Generation

To broaden our understanding of challenges and solutions in the system, the Foundation staff and/or trustees consult with lived experience experts, researchers, advocates and grassroots organizers, and other leaders. They read articles & research, listen to first-person accounts from impacted families and youth, and they compile and analyze data from communities, academic institutions, and government sources. 

 

Initial Meeting with Prospective Partners

The Foundation staff and/or trustees will hold an initial meeting or phone call with the organization's leadership to learn more about your mission, approach, and programs, and to explore ways we might work together.

Concept Note

Foundation staff and/or the organization will draft a one-page concept note that briefly describes the organization, program goals and strategy, approach for influencing the wider system, how it fits the Foundation’s goals, and an estimated request.

Initial Review of New Opportunity

The Parent & Youth Advisory Board members will review new opportunities quarterly. Feedback from the advisory board is shared with the staff and the leadership of the board of trustees to inform next steps. If the opportunity is of interest, the staff, trustee liaison and whenever possible, members of the advisory board will follow up with additional questions and discussion and to schedule a site visit/additional meeting with senior leadership of the organization.

Proposal 

Once an organization reaches the proposal stage, the project design or advocacy initiative under consideration will have received significant attention from the staff, advisory board, and/or trustees. At this point, the organization will receive our proposal template that asks about the organization’s commitment to racial justice and for more detailed plans for program or advocacy execution; evaluation; goals and outcomes, including impact on racial disparities; and multi-year budget and plan for financial health. The board of trustees makes grant decisions quarterly, and successful organizations will be notified soon thereafter.

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Evaluation

The Foundation and the grantee will work together to develop an evaluation procedure and to establish specific objectives and metrics by which to measure progress on projected outcomes.

 

Grant Proposal Evaluation Criteria

This is the criteria Foundation staff and board members will use to evaluate grant opportunities.

1. Fit with our mission and strategy.

2. Strength of the leadership and implementation team, including: personal and professional backgrounds (lived experience, activism, leadership roles, similarities to communities we serve); and commitment to racial and family justice.

3. Centering of impacted populations (people and communities) in defining and implementing solution set and strategies.

4. Collaborative and movement-building.

5. Feasibility of plan to meet desired outcomes and reduce disparities.

6. Scalable: cost-effective; power-building; future revenue sources; policy-reform implications; coordination with the system.

Our Current Grants 

Goal: Narrowing the Front Door to Foster Care

Narrow the Front Door to NYC Child Welfare Coalition

GOAL: To JMacforFamilies and the New School’s Center for NYC Affairs to co-lead this citywide coalition of impacted youth and parents, nonprofit leaders, scholars and legal representatives to shrink the surveillance mechanisms of child welfare, and invest in families and communities to provide the healing and restorative support to families in need.

GRANT TOTAL: $713,000 grant over 4 years

Family Cash Transfer Pilot: University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research & OCFS

GOAL: To support the cash transfer pilots for families with CPS involvement in 3 NY counties with research on the impact of cash transfers in reducing child welfare system involvement for families.

GRANT TOTAL: $468,000 over 3 years

Mandated Reporting Workgroup

GOAL: To support Children's Rights to research and explore ways to reduce harm and surveillance caused by mandatory reporting in the New York State. 

GRANT TOTAL: $127,000 grant over 1 year

 

Keeping Families Together: Technical Assistance with 7 NY counties

GOAL: Expert consultants provide technical assistance to Albany, Monroe, Onondaga, St. Lawrence, Broome, Westchester and Suffolk counties to focus on community-driven prevention planning, CPS reform and decreasing congregate care placements.  

GRANT TOTAL: $250,000 over 1 year

 

Movement for Family Power 

GOAL: To advocate and organize across NY for policies to reduce the number of families impacted by child welfare.

GRANT TOTAL: $396,000 over 3 years

   

Westchester County DSS

GOAL: To reduce disproportionate minority representation through targeted efforts to divert calls from the SCR, to resource educational personnel to connect families to resources rather than the SCR, and by examining internal decision-making points that are vulnerable to implicit bias. 

GRANT TOTAL: $300,000 grant over 2 years

UpEnd Movement 

GOAL: To advance public interest in the abolition of the child welfare system through research, policy development and the engagement of powerful voices to further narrative change.

GRANT TOTAL: $400,000 grant over 2 years

Fostering Media Connections: The Imprint

GOAL: To conduct investigative reporting and publish stories from across NY that get disseminated to mainstream and other media outlets to drive child welfare reform.

GRANT TOTAL: $410,000 over 7 years

The LGBT Center

GOAL: To provide services to clinicians, families and LGBTQIA+ youth to strengthen affirming family life and prevent child welfare involvement.

GRANT TOTAL: $171,000 over 5 years

Family Justice Law Center

GOAL: To support the launch of the Strategic Appeals Pilot. This initiative will address systemic child welfare issues in New York, focusing on over-surveillance and family separations.

GRANT TOTAL: $200,000 over 2 years

NYC Family Policy Project

GOAL: To partner with researchers, parents, advocates, and allies in impacted communities to develop and promote research-driven policy solutions for NYC families.

GRANT TOTAL: $155,000 over 4 years

Goal: Community Partnerships

Rise
GOAL: To support their Peer Care Network, Parents’ Platform, and Rise & Shine program, to expand parent movement-building and peer support in New York City.
GRANT TOTAL: $550,000 over 5 years

 

Families Together in NYS

GOAL: To launch a Family Peer Advocate program in Erie County to support pre-petition CPS-involved families.

GRANT TOTAL: $600,000 over 3 years
 

Create Forward

GOAL: To launch the Story Lab Series to articulate the lived experiences of family surveillance and offer space to design narrative shifting, advocacy and organizing strategies to keep families together.

GRANT TOTAL: $120,000 over 1 year

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

GOAL: Expand legal services offered to families affected by the child welfare system, including at the pre-petition/investigation state.

GRANT TOTAL: $450,000 over 3 years

 

Erie County Assigned Counsel Program

GOAL: To expand their Pre-Petition Legal Advocacy within their Family Defense Unit. Quality legal representation is a key strategy to address racial bias in child welfare, prevent unnecessary child welfare involvement, and address injustices inflicted on families of color by the child welfare system.

GRANT TOTAL: $300,000 over 2 years

 

Fostering Greatness and the Partnership for the Public Good in Erie County

GOAL: Together with a coalition of community stakeholders, the groups will advocate for policy solutions and local county funding to create specialized housing access, pipelines into employment programs, and expand access to desired health and mental wellness services.

GRANT TOTAL: $300,000 over 2 years

The Children's Defense Fund-New York (CDF-NY)

GOAL: To work on state-wide child welfare legislative and budget advocacy, working in coalition and smaller ad hoc groups to develop new ideas with impacted youth and families, and to advance reform among lawmakers and administrators in NYC and Albany.

GRANT TOTAL: $280,000 over 6 years

AFFCNY (The Adoptive and Foster Family Coalition of New York)

GOAL: To expand the support, information and advocacy for foster and adoptive parents and foster care professionals in New York State.

GRANT TOTAL: $950,000 over 9 years
 

Goal: Support Older Youth in Care to Heal, Lead & Thrive

Fair Futures: NYC Youth + Families Forward Fund
GOAL:
 To support Fair Futures and new initiatives to prevent families from unnecessary involvement in the child welfare system.

GRANT TOTAL: $962,833 over 6 years

 

Fair Futures: Say Yes to Buffalo
GOAL:
 To support Fair Futures program launch and implementation in Erie County.

GRANT TOTAL: $450,000 over 3 years

 

Fostering Youth Success Alliance: Children’s Aid

GOAL: Improve higher education outcomes for foster youth through advocacy and implementation for public financial assistance and support services on campuses across the state.

GRANT TOTAL: $1,000,000 over 11 years

 

CHAMPS NY: Schuyler Center and Families Together for NYS 
GOAL:
 To improve state policies to enhance system accountability and reduce residential placements.
GRANT TOTAL: $867,000 over 5 years

 

Children’s Rights

GOAL: To localize the “Families Over Facilities” report to NY and to educate the public & policymakers to the harm caused by congregate care.

GRANT TOTAL: $100,000 over 2 years

 

Center for Court Innovation

GOAL: Pilot in Dutchess County new approach to address mental health needs of youth ages 12-18 in family court, to preserve home-based placements and reduce congregate care reliance.

GRANT TOTAL: $500,000 over 3 years

 

IPS Institute: HeartShare St. Vincent's Services 
GOAL:
To work with Alia to train and coach four provider agencies in the Intensive Permanency Services model, an approach that works with youth in care to heal from their loss and trauma, reconnect with kin relatives, and achieve permanency.
GRANT TOTAL: $888,000 over 7 years 

 

Gateway Longview, Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie and BBI

GOAL: Support Building Bridges Initiative (BBI)’s technical assistance to 2 providers to transform their residential services into community-based services.

GRANT TOTAL: $632,333 over 3 years

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