As California philanthropies committed to advancing equitable health, safety, and wellbeing across the state, we’re excited to share Beyond Screening: Achieving California’s Bold Goal of Reducing Exposure to Childhood Trauma, a new report that makes the case for a community-level, prevention approach to reduce adverse childhood experiences. Beyond Screening reflects what we’ve learned from communities we work with across the state of California: how to support mental health and wellbeing, heal from trauma, build resilience, and assert a positive vision for the future.
Beyond Screening emphasizes four key strategies to support healthy, safe, and equitable environments for children and their families:
- Strengthening economic supports to families, like expanding access to living-wage employment, paid family leave, and social safety-net programs
- Promoting healthy social norms that protect against violence and adversity
- Providing access to housing and healthy community development
- Ensuring every child gets a strong start in early childhood, childcare, school, and after-school settings
Reducing the burden of adverse childhood experiences by 50% within a generation—a goal set by California Governor Gavin Newsom and our state’s first-ever surgeon general, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris—will require addressing community-level factors that fuel stress and trauma like racism, a hostile climate for immigrants, displacement, and economic inequality.
Adverse childhood experiences were already widespread before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, undermining the health and economic stability of millions of families. An equitable recovery from COVID-19 will require investing in California’s communities of color that have been hardest hit by the pandemic, with a particular focus on healthy child development for families that have been cut off from vital social supports like in-person education.
To our fellow California funders, we share this paper in the hopes of sparking a conversation about how we can best support our communities during this difficult time and down through generations to come. We welcome feedback and further dialogue.
Please contact Bonnie Midura BMidura@Calendow.org at The California Endowment or Matt Cervantes firstname.lastname@example.org at Sierra Health Foundation, both members of Northern California Grantmakers, for additional information.