Looking Ahead in Our New Fiscal Year

July 30, 2019
Ryan Imondi

CII kicked-off a new fiscal year at the beginning of July. Our dedicated staff are already working to ensure children and families in Los Angeles receive crucial trauma-informed support whether it is through early childhood education, behavioral health or family strengthening services. Over the next fiscal year, CII expects to serve more than 26,000 children and families facing adversity across LA.

For 2019-2020, we have a number of important initiatives that are either launching or entering crucial stages in their development. We have big events, important campaigns and major milestones ahead that we are excited to share with you.

Below are a few of the highlights we are looking forward to during our 2019-2020 fiscal year. Together, we will work toward breaking the cycle of childhood adversity to build a brighter future for children and families in LA.

Helping LA Better Understand Trauma

This month, CII launched a public awareness campaign focused on educating families in LA about childhood trauma. We created a Public Service Announcement (PSA) in partnership with the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent that was directed by filmmaker Mary-Lyn Chambers, with funding support from the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Prevention & Aftercare program. The PSA started airing on Univision 34 this week, and is also reaching parents in the downtown and mid-city area of LA through a paid social media campaign on Facebook and Instagram. Watch the PSA here.

Trauma-Informed Care Conference Brings New Strategies to Address Trauma

On August 23, CII is holding our annual Trauma-Informed Care Conference where leaders in trauma research will host workshops and discussions on the important ways professionals in the field can better serve children and families facing adversity. This year’s conference features keynote speakers Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, physician and expert on youth violence, and Elizabeth “Liz” Huntley, accomplished attorney and dedicated child advocate. Click here to learn more about or register for the Trauma-Informed Care Conference.

Expanding Early Head Start at Otis Booth

Our Otis Booth Campus is a hub for many important program activities including early childhood education programs. CII is increasing the number of students we can teach in our classrooms by expanding our Fran Stark Early Childhood Center. Construction to accommodate our new early learners will be completed by the end of this month.

Cape & Gown Gala Returns for a Second Year

On October 30, our annual Cape & Gown Gala will honor Channing Dungey, VP of Original Series at Netflix,  Bridget Gless Keller, CII Trustee and Watts Building Committee Chair, and Paul Keller, Chairman, Mack Real Estate Development. Our signature fundraising event will take place at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica. The Cape & Gown Gala celebrates individuals whose humanitarianism has helped put opportunity within reach for thousands of children and families. Click here to purchase table sponsorships or tribute book ads.

Watts Campus Breaks Ground

At the beginning of 2020, CII plans to break ground on our new Frank Gehry designed Watts Campus, which will house therapeutic programs and a variety of supports for children and families. The building will also be home to the Watts Gang Task Force, which has brokered peace in the community for nearly 15 years, along with the Community Safety Partnership, a nationally recognized model for relationship-based policing. Construction is expected to be completed in 2021.

Sustained Impact Through Neighborhood Schools

This fall CII is launching the Neighborhood Schools program, a key strategic initiative that will significantly increase our reach and impact. Beginning with two schools in Watts, Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary School and Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy, we will begin the process of deep partnership and collaboration to ensure all students and their families receive additional support and resources. These include behavioral health and wellness services, along with parent education, I DREAM WATTS, and a variety of other programs based on the need and wishes of the school principal, parents and other stakeholders. Please contact Mary Brougher at mbrougher@childrensinstitute.org for additional information.

CII hosts mental wellness event in Watts

Empowering Watts to Overcome Trauma

CII is leading a collaboration between 40 different organizations in Watts through Community Innovations, a partnership to better understand the unique needs of families and individuals that have experienced trauma. We will be holding important events throughout the year in Watts and the surrounding neighborhoods to destigmatize trauma and increase access to key programs and resources.

Adding Our Voice to Public Policy Discussions

CII is focused on expanding our reach and impact across LA and the state by developing and implementing policy and advocacy strategies at all levels of government. In June, we hired Terry Kim as the Director of Government Relations & Advocacy who will help CII build relationships with public officials, policy makers and industry associations across behavioral health, early childhood education, and family strengthening to improve the outcomes of the children and families we serve. You can reach Terry at tkim@childrensinstitute.org.

Creating Volunteer Opportunities for Stronger Partnerships

To better connect with the larger LA community and offer opportunities to support the work of CII, we are introducing new volunteer positions that are great for both corporate teams and individuals. From volunteering in our early childhood classrooms, to painting murals at our Head Start sites, our expanded volunteer program will offer hands on experiences to support children and families facing adversity. Visit our volunteer page to learn more and sign up for an upcoming volunteer orientation.