It is with excitement and gratitude that the Department of Early Childhood (DEC) announces the launch of the fourth funding cycle for the Family Resource Center Initiative and this corresponding Request for Grant Applications (RFGA). This Initiative was born in partnership and has developed and grown in partnership. Beginning in 2009, it was the result of extensive collaboration and planning between First 5 San Francisco (now a Division of DEC), The Department of Children Youth and Their Families, and the Human Services Agency. With significant City investment, oversight from First 5, and the dedication of numerous community-based organizations for more than a decade, the Family Resource Center Initiative is now a cornerstone of the San Francisco service landscape for families of young children. There are currently family support services offered in 13 neighborhoods, and several city-wide populations that have specific needs extending beyond geographic boundaries. Partnership within and across grantees, City funders, service providers, and families continue to be a hallmark of all that we do.
Family resource centers are a trusted lifeline and a vital component of our City’s social and economic recovery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. For families, they are a place to turn for essential resources, an important point of connection, a space where learning supports child and parental well-being, and often the mechanism by which families, particularly those facing high need and multiple barriers, can access a more comprehensive system of supports.
The Family Resource Center Initiative embodies the DEC values of racial equity, community collaboration, continuous learning, transparency that leads to universal access, and is a core service platform in our 2024-2027 Strategic Plan. Our department is proud to provide continuing oversight of this critical effort, in collaboration with joint funders and community, ensuring that we connect, serve, and support families and providers in every corner of our City. We look forward to the next iteration as we build on this already strong foundation, achieving greater and more lasting impacts on family well-being, school readiness, and children’s lifelong success.
Ingrid X. Mezquita, Executive Director, Department of Early Childhood
Theresa Zighera, Deputy Director, Child & Family Well-being and First 5 Programs