Blue Shield of California Foundation Advances Strategies to Prevent Domestic Violence, Support Childcare Workers, and Strengthen Community Efforts for Health Equity

$10.6 Million in Grants Support Mission to be the Healthiest State and End Domestic Violence

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (September 22, 2020) – Blue Shield of California Foundation announced today more than $10.6 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and programs throughout California. Funding is focused on preventing domestic violence, strengthening the economic position of childcare workers and families who rely on them, and enabling multi-sector collaborations that drive health equity.

“Taken together, these inspiring and impactful grants support our mission to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence,” said Debbie I. Chang, MPH, President & CEO of the Foundation. “Prevention, equity, and changing systems so that they support the needs of individuals and families are key elements of health. We are proud to contribute to collaborations and organizations across the state that are addressing critical issues today while also building a better tomorrow.”

The funds include significant investments in domestic violence prevention with $3.74 million dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence. The Foundation is a long-standing leader in this area and continues to deepen its support for two-generation approaches that take into account the needs of adults involved in domestic violence, as well as children exposed to violence – including programs for parents to support other parents and strengthen parenting skills to ensure good outcomes for children.

Additional grants focus on engaging girls and women of color in healing and safety, while proactively addressing cultural and gender norms that can be harmful. Policy change is another essential element of this work, and the funding also includes support for PolicyLink and the Healing Together Campaign to drive policy change throughout the state and strengthen a network of men and boys of color working to end gender-based violence.

“We’re thankful to the Blue Shield of California Foundation for investing in the transformative work required to prevent violence and end cycles of harm,” said Dr. Michael McAfee, President and CEO of PolicyLink. “As our society reflects on the urgent need to address the systemic racism and violence embedded in our institutions, this investment will help to bring forth community-based approaches to ending partner violence that do not rely on systems of punishment. By bringing together the wisdom and experience of the gender justice and racial justice movements, Healing Together is advancing policy solutions and approaches that are rooted in community, healing, equity, and accountability.”

Foundation-supported research has demonstrated that financial stress and uncertainty can increase domestic violence and drive poor health. To this end, $2.1 million will go towards the economic stability and mobility of childcare workers and providers as critical enablers of family stability and safety. Grants aim to stabilize and grow the childcare sector by testing provider-led service models, incubating family childcare businesses, and by conducting new research on the connection between investments in childcare and the wellbeing of children, families, and communities.

Economic stability is essential for all phases of family life, and the Foundation is making several grants to push progress forward. Caring Across Generations, a project of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, is advocating for Universal Family Care to cover childcare, family leave, and elder care.

“Caregivers, both professional and unpaid, are the backbone of our health system,” said Ai-jen Poo, Director of Caring Across Generations.  “Investing in our caregiving systems and infrastructure, and centering equity for Black and brown families will help ensure that all Californians can take care of themselves and their loved ones at every stage of life, through COVID-19 and beyond. With Blue Shield of California Foundation’s investment, Caring Across Generations will work with community-based organizations, thought leaders, and key stakeholders to ensure all Californians can access and afford childcare, paid leave and long term services and supports."

To advance equity-focused multisector collaborations  - and help them build inclusive agendas for change at the local and state levels - $2.7 million will support efforts to transform systems that impact the health of youth, address adverse childhood experiences with family violence, promote healthy housing, and engage food workers in driving equity-focused reforms in the food sector.

Additionally, to bolster equity in state efforts to fight COVID-19, the Foundation made a $1 million contribution, joining other foundations, to ensure that the state implements a culturally and linguistically competent contact-tracing program.

To view details on the full list of grants, click here