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Sierra Health Foundation

Contact Information

1321 Garden Hwy
Sacramento, CA 95833 - 9754
(916) 922-4755 3216
Social Innovation Fund 2012

Executive Summary


Sierra Health Foundation

Sierra Health Foundation (SHF) is a grantmaker that has been investing in nonprofit organizations over the past 27 years, awarding $85 million in grants to 853 organizations. SHF's mission:is to improve health and quality of life in Northern California. More recently, the foundation expanded its impact area from regional to statewide, serving as a philanthropic intermediary to provide leadership, funding and operational support to improve individual and community health status and well-being in underserved communities across California.

As a result of several years of research, partnership development with nationally recognized juvenile justice organizations, funders and leadership in youth development, SHF developed the Positive Youth Justice Initiative (PYJI), designed to integrate youth development principles and evidence-based services to benefit youth ages 12-21 involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems (crossover youth) across California. In collaboration with The California Endowment, SHF will implement PYJI in 2012 in 4 to 6 sites across California.

Through this Social Innovation Fund (SIF) proposal, SHF proposes to invite CNCS to join in this effort and improve outcomes for at least 300 crossover youth and young adults (30 to 50 per funded site). SHF requests $5 million over five years to implement PYJI as an issue-based SIF. Through PYJI, SHF will develop a competitive grant process for community organizations, manage the SIF, provide training and technical assistance to subgrantees, coordinate and support local evaluation activities, and conduct an overall evaluation of the initiative. Over the course of the next 5 years, an additional 2 to 3 sites, serving 30 to 50 crossover youth per site, will receive direct services from PYJI subgrantees as system reforms are institutionalized. Between SHF's original PYJI and collaboration with the SIF, a total of 6 to 9 subgrantee communities will participate in this transformative endeavor.

Subgrantees will be located in California and will be community organizations leading collaboratives made up of county agencies (child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health departments), law enforcement, education, health care, substance abuse providers, and other organizations serving crossover youth.

There are 10 million youth in California, 204,000 of whom have had some contact with the juvenile justice system and 53,688 of whom have been served by the child welfare system. Approximately 10% to 20% of youth in the juvenile justice system have also been served by child welfare. These crossover youth have experienced maltreatment and engaged in delinquency. These youth with the highest level of needs in the state and the poorest health, education and employment outcomes, often face either diagnosed or undiagnosed mental health issues and they have experienced some sort of trauma in their lives. They are the most difficult population of youth to serve and as a result few community entities know how and/or are willing to take on their complex needs.

The PYJI intends to create local and statewide juvenile justice systems reform informed by a youth development philosophy to improve outcomes for crossover youth. To accomplish this, SHF will expand successful models that will implement the research-based practices identified in Assessing the Needs of Multi-system Youth: Strengthening the Connection Between Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice (Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, 2012) and the highly promising Juvenile Collaborative Re-entry Team (JCRT) model in place in San Francisco,which focuses on partnerships between community agencies and key juvenile justice system partners to implement integrated evidence-based re-entry practices.


Outcome 1: Beginning in year 3, the annual recidivism rate for crossover youth participating in the PYJI at least 6 months of each year will be lower than the recidivism rate for crossover youth not receiving services. Outcome 2: At least 70% of enrolled youth will have successful linkages with after care services 6 months after release from detention. Outcome 3: Beginning in year 2, 80% of crossover youth participating in the program will demonstrate increased presence of resiliency factors. Outcome 4: Beginning in year 2, 75% of crossover youth participating in the PYJI for at least 6 months will demonstrate progress toward education, employment and health goals.

Award Information

Application ID: 12SI137940
CNCS Award Amount:
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