In partnership with the Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Center for Care Innovations (CCI) is launching Amplify Healing Connections, a learning collaborative to strengthen multi-sector partnerships that prevent domestic violence and promote health and well-being for young people and their caregivers. In the context of this program, multi-sector partnerships are partnerships involving organizations across two or more sectors.

Domestic violence is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, often including verbal abuse, threats, and battering, and typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. Nearly 30 million children under 17 throughout the country have witnessed such abuse in the home, and left unaddressed, this can undermine their future relationships, education, and health. Research has found that children and young people who live with domestic violence are at increased risk for developing depression, anxiety, and chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. Young people exposed to violence at home are more likely to suffer learning difficulties and act out at school. They also have a 15 times greater risk of suffering domestic violence later in life. The coronavirus pandemic and rising unemployment has made it still more urgent to take steps to curb domestic violence, since lockdowns have been linked with an alarming rise in domestic violence and increasingly severe injuries, according to a Massachusetts hospital study. These crises, whose ripple effects will be felt for months and even years to come, make it urgent to improve current systems of support for youth and their families at risk of domestic violence.

This work cannot be done in a vacuum. To prevent and mitigate the mental, emotional, and physical harms of domestic violence requires a systems approach. In addition, breaking the cycle of intergenerational domestic violence calls for partnerships across sectors on shared approaches, including:

  • Increasing access to trauma-informed care for community members.
  • Promoting healthy relationships and protective factors among youth through peer education campaigns.
  • Building a shared strategy with community-based services, health care providers, education systems, social service providers, and caregivers.
  • Engaging youth and their caregivers in the design and roll-out of restorative services.

Amplify Healing Connections seeks to enhance such interventions that specifically impact adolescent youth. Between ages 12 to 18 years old, youth are exposed to a host of interpersonal and structural influences outside the home that can increase the risk of domestic violence, including peer dating violence, harmful peer networks, racial injustice, and economic disparity. During the same time, they are exploring values and norms that exist outside of their immediate family. Youth-serving organizations play a pivotal role in promoting healthy practices and providing a strong, nourishing environment for young people and their caregivers. Coordinated efforts across community organizations can amplify positive experiences in childhood and adolescence (PCEs) and help prevent, reduce, and even reverse the impact of early adversity. Using a health equity and strengths-based approach, this program will build upon the capacities of multi-sector partnerships to promote health and well-being for both youth and their caregivers.

Program Description

Amplify Healing Connections seeks six California-based, multi-sector partnerships (each involving at least one community-based organization and one health care provider serving youth 12-18 years old) to participate in a 22-month learning collaborative aimed at strengthening partnerships that prevent domestic violence. Since PCEs can help prevent, reduce, and even reverse the impact of early adversity, Amplify seeks to promote health and well-being in communities to provide a strong, nourishing environment for young people and their caregivers. The program provides grants and a range of technical assistance to support partnerships in making change and ensuring responsiveness to community needs. Technical assistance will support partnerships in moving through the following phases during the program:

  • Phase 1 (March-June 2021): Participants will gain a deeper understanding of their organization, partners, and community. Participants will learn about and use tools from both systems practice and human-centered design to uncover their own strengths and opportunities; the needs and experiences of youth and caregivers in their community; and where they can leverage each partner’s strengths to mitigate intergenerational domestic violence in their communities among youth and their caregivers.
  • Phase 2 (July-October 2021): Building on their insights from Phase 1, participants will identify their biggest opportunity areas as a multi-sector partnership to make change within the duration of the program. They’ll define their population of focus, a shared vision and goals, and brainstorm ideas with their partners, youth, and their caregivers. At the close of Phase 2, participants will be asked to “pitch” to the Amplify cohort and CCI program staff what they have learned in Phase 1 and 2, and what changes they want to test in Phase 3 and 4.
  • Phase 3 (November 2021-May 2022): Participants will continue iterating on their Phase 2 ideas and transform them into solutions they can test on a small scale within their community. They will co-design these solutions with youth and caregivers and continuously reflect on how well changes are working and what needs to be adapted in future cycles.
  • Phase 4 (June-December 2022): This phase is focused on creating systems within individual organizations, within the multi-sector partnership, and within the community to sustain the changes after the program ends.

Curriculum Topics

The program curriculum will further partnerships’ capacity for collaborating on healing- and people-centered initiatives to prevent domestic violence in youth. CCI recognizes that each partnership brings an array of expertise in terms of collaboration experience, community relationships, and insight on the impacts of domestic violence tied to its specific community. As such, CCI will invite participants to identify what content would be most helpful to their partnership as part of a co-design process early in the program. In addition, content will be presented by faculty with deep expertise in systems thinking, human-centered design methods, domestic violence and trauma in youth, and making multi-sector partnerships effective. Topics will include:

  • Facilitators and barriers to effective multi-sector partnerships.
  • Strategies for engaging and co-designing solutions with youth and their caregivers.
  • Applying systems mapping tools to understand the relationships and power structures within partner organizations, across partners, and within the community when addressing domestic violence in youth and their caregivers.
  • Designing interventions on the organization and systems level that are proven to be effective in preventing domestic violence and promoting health and well-being for young people and their caregivers.
  • Models and strategies for developing organizational and community buy-in, as well as sustaining collaborative efforts beyond the program timeline.
  • Specific topics identified by the cohort for deep dives. Topics might include understanding ACEs and their impact on physical and mental health; new thinking on protective factors; the value of peer parenting coaches and parenting classes in preventing intergenerational trauma; building trauma-informed services for youth and their caregivers; how trauma-informed schools help traumatized children and teens heal; and evidence-based interventions to support youth and their caregivers in healing from trauma.

Program Activities

Understanding that each partnership may have different needs and learning styles, CCI has designed a mix of program activities that would allow partnerships to advance their capacities in making change in their communities. The program activities include:

  • Three Learning Sessions: Two three-hour virtual and one full-day in-person learning sessions to share and learn from peer- and content-experts.*
  • Bi-Monthly Share & Learn Webinars: One-hour webinars that provide opportunities to dig deeper on topics desired by the cohort and for peers to share with each other.
  • Ongoing support and check-ins in between learning sessions and webinars to support partnerships so they can reach their goals, share best practices, and thought-partner on challenges
  • Support on defining metrics for partnerships to understand their progress, successes, and opportunities
  • Grants of $70,000 to help offset the costs of participating in program activities, submitting data, and improving domestic violence prevention opportunities.
  • An online resource center and discussion forum to connect with peers

*Note: Previous CCI program participants expressed deep appreciation for the value of in-person activities. However, due to challenges associated with COVID-19, in-person activities are limited and are scheduled later in the project. If in-person meetings and travel become safer, CCI may seek to adapt the above events to include more in-person activities.

Grant Details

We will select six partnerships to participate in the program. Selected partnerships will receive $25,000 in grant funding for participation in Phases 1 and 2 (through October 2021). In November 2021, all partnerships will pitch their learnings and goals to work on in Phase 3. Upon completion of this Phase, partnerships will receive a second grant installment of $45,000 to test and implement their projects in Phases 3 and 4. Grant dollars can be used to offset staff time spent participating in this program, travel costs to attend the program’s in-person convenings (when appropriate and safe), and other associated costs.

What Makes Amplify Unique?
Who’s Eligible?

The goal of Amplify is to strengthen multi-sector partnerships that prevent domestic violence and promote health and wellbeing for young people and their caregivers. We invite applications from organizations that meet the following criteria:

(1) 501(c)(3) nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations under the Internal Revenue Service Code (IRC), governmental, tribal, and public entities.

(2) Organizations that are actively participating in and willing to receive grant funds on behalf of an eligible California-based, multi-sector partnership. Eligible partnerships include at least one community-based organization and one health care provider organization that serve youth ages 12-18 years old. Examples could include:

  • Collaboratives
  • Coalitions
  • Task forces
  • Work groups
  • Informal partnerships that:
    • Have a shared understanding of what could be worked on together;
    • Have an existing relationship between organizations; and
    • Engage in regular communication.

Eligible community-based organizations include those that are focused on youth development, parent support, domestic violence services, social-emotional learning/health education, or any related social-service organization. Eligible health care provider organizations include primary care, behavioral health, and reproductive health providers.

Partnerships will be selected with the goal of achieving diversity in terms of type, history of collaboration, geography, youth population, and experience addressing domestic violence and intergenerational trauma. Priority will be given to partnerships that serve a youth population that is at higher risk for domestic violence (e.g., low-income, LGBTQIA+, foster youth, historically-underinvested racial/ethnic groups).

If you have questions about whether you are eligible for this opportunity, please contact:

Diana Nguyen
Program Manager, Center for Care Innovations
[email protected]

Participant Expectations

By applying to participate in Amplify Healing Connections, applicants agree they will:

  • Develop a core team, whose members will participate in program activities and work on implementing activities within their community:
    • Core teams are made of up to 10 team members who work across multiple sectors and represent diverse perspectives and experiences. We recommend 1-3 individuals per organizational partner, with at least one of those individuals being someone who provides direct service to youth.
    • Core teams should include at least one person designated as the program lead (responsible for day-to-day activities of the program and serving as the point person for communications with CCI).
    • We value lived experience and encourage partnerships to be inclusive in their team development. Priority will be given to teams that are inclusive of those with lived experience, such as domestic violence survivors and/or caretakers of someone experiencing domestic violence.
  • Actively Participate in Program Events and Activities:
    • Participate in one co-design session to share which topics would be helpful to cover throughout the program.
    • Peer Sharing and Learning: Actively share challenges, opportunities, bright spots, and questions with your fellow program participants.
    • Learning Sessions: Participation by core team members in all three learning sessions and complete related assignments between sessions. Given COVID-19 challenges, we expect the first two learning sessions will be virtual and the final learning session will be in-person.
    • Evaluation Activities:
      • Participate in one co-design session to develop measures that are important to your partnership
      • Participate in three one-hour interviews at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the program.
      • Provide progress updates on a quarterly basis. CCI will provide a format for your partnership to use.
    • Senior Leader Support & Participation: At least one senior leader from each organizational partner is expected to join the March 11 Kick-Off Webinar and a webinar at the end of the program sharing program results and sustainability plans.
    • Feedback on CCI Programming: Provide feedback on program activities, content, and format.
What Makes a Strong Applicant?

CCI is interested in engaging a mixed cohort of emerging and established partnerships for this program. We are looking for applicants with the following characteristics:

  • Openness to addressing problems in a way that is collaborative, humble, inclusive, iterative, and creative.
  • Commitment to working with stakeholders across internal and external silos and positional hierarchy.
  • Grounded in the experiences of young people, their caregivers, and community members and eager to work alongside these individuals to identify opportunity areas and co-design solutions.
  • Willingness to openly share approaches and lessons learned with other participating teams.
  • Demonstrated commitment to advance and sustain the work of your partnership.