All Children Thrive-California (ACT) is a community-led movement in cities that:
current city systems to improve child and family well-being.
community members with city staff and elected officials to create policies, programs, and resources that foster child well-being.
networks of people and places to co-design innovative solutions and share their experiences to help all of California’s children thrive.
What is All Children Thrive?
The goal of All Children Thrive (ACT) is to support cities in moving from a world in which few children thrive into a new, transformed future that builds healthy, safe, and strong communities that ensure all children and youth can reach their full potential. Through funding, training, technical assistance, and learning communities, ACT is uniting teams of community members and city leaders to develop a vision for their city that tackles the longstanding root causes of problems in their community. By focusing on sustainable, long-term policy changes and actions that set communities up for success, ACT supports cities across California to develop and implement plans for a brighter future.
ACT specifically focuses and supports cities in the following Community Action Areas:
Promoting Healthy Child Development
Healthy development is critical to child and youth well-being and a community’s broader health. By meeting developmental needs early in life, we can work together to dismantle the systems that lead to hardship, lack of opportunity, and resource gaps to ensure your community—including our children and youth—can thrive. We can help you to promote initiatives such as improving the built environment or the settings in which children live, play, and grow.
Creating Protective Environments
Protective environments are settings that do not harm but rather help and enhance communities. Environments that are inclusive, safe, and trauma-informed are important to promoting healthy child development. By focusing on efforts such as mandated surveys measuring adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and establishing crisis response teams prepared to respond to mental health crises, everyone can feel enveloped by a community that protects and cares about them. Whether you wish to promote restorative justice practices in schools or ensure domestic violence training for first responders, All Children Thrive can help guide your conversations between city officials and community members to shape healthy, safe environments that allow youth to thrive.
Youth Development and Civic Engagement
Children and youth are our community’s future leaders. Their ability to thrive is directly related to the current and future well-being of our communities. All Children Thrive creates youth advisory boards and promotes activities that center youth voices and provide space for youth to voice their opinions about the future they would like to see. ACT can help you assess the needs in your community, identify who is being left out, and create opportunities that support all youth.
Strengthening Economic Supports for Children and Families
Economic support like low-interest financial services and public ownership opportunities can help families to escape debt and build wealth to protect their future. By focusing on legislation that sets a living wage, provides access to job opportunities for the formerly incarcerated, and innovations to increase economic opportunity, we can build a stronger economic base for our families and communities.
Access to Safe and Stable Housing
No child should have to worry about where they will rest their head at night. Yet child homelessness and housing instability continue to be major public health issues for too many California families. A child in temporary or unstable housing is more likely to experience emotional or behavioral challenges, increasing their risk for serious health problems. ACT will invest in you and your proposals to implement amended zoning rules, affordable housing, and other methods promoting access to safe and stable housing in your community.
The people, places, and laws that shape how our children live, play, learn, and grow are failing to meet the needs of California’s children. Children from all incomes, races, and cultures are experiencing increased adversity, leading to poor health and fewer opportunities to thrive. Issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and racism have created real challenges in communities and for youth. All Children Thrive’s new model for collaboration between community members and key decision makers offers the opportunity to address these and other challenges and reimagine our future. ACT works to create sustainable change in our cities by centering youth and community voices, promoting shared accountability, maintaining cultural humility, and sparking innovation.
All Children Thrive works with cities to focus on Community Action Areas and solutions that prevent and heal:
Trauma: adverse experiences such as physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and household violence can affect a child’s emotional and physical well-being into adulthood.
Community Trauma: harm inflicted by economic hardship, community violence, poor housing quality, the persistent effects of racism, and ongoing inequities that put low-income individuals and people of color at greater risk.
All Children Thrive is brought to you by:
Public Health Advocates, the UCLA Center for Healthier Children, Families & Communities, and Community Partners across California.