July 7, 2022 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Foundation today awarded $535,000 in grants to 19 nonprofit programs in San Diego County that support culturally responsive and trauma-informed mental and behavioral health services for children and families.

“Supporting children and families who experience trauma and strengthening organizations that serve them are vital to building a healthy, thriving and resilient region,” said Katie Rast, Director of Community Impact at San Diego Foundation. “Even before the pandemic, our children and youth were in a mental health crisis. We’re thankful to these regional partners who will expand access and equitably serve San Diego families with sensitivity and care.”

Launched in fall 2021, the Healthy Children and Families Initiative at San Diego Foundation addresses gaps in access to critical services in the region. The following grants further San Diego Foundation’s collaborative work with regional partners to support the mental and behavioral well-being of San Diego’s children and families.

The inaugural Healthy Children and Families Initiative grants include:

  • African American Wellness Center for Children & Families $25,000 to support parent education and advocacy training for African American families that focuses on child abuse prevention and systemic racism.
  • Alliant Educational Foundation – $30,000 to increase access to trauma-informed and culturally responsive mental health services by placing graduate students in local community-based organizations that provide mental health services to families from underserved backgrounds.
  • Boys and Girls Club of San Marcos – $30,000 to increase access to mental health services for youth of color by providing trauma-informed and culturally responsive counseling, education, case management, crisis intervention and family connection to community-based services.
  • Center for Community Solutions – $30,000 to provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed mental and behavioral health services and activities for child and parent survivors of intimate partner violence who reside in CCS’ shelter-based programs.
  • Chicano Federation of San Diego County – $30,000 to increase mental health services to up to 72 children, ages 3 – 5, and their families enrolled in Barrio Logan Child Development Center.
  • Crisis House – $30,000 to provide survivor families of domestic violence with housing support and mental and behavioral services, and referrals for psychiatric evaluations.
  • Home Start Inc. – $30,000 to provide one-on-one parent-child interaction therapy or trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy to underserved children and families who have experienced trauma or abuse, and to launch a new trauma support group for parents and caregivers.
  • License to Freedom – $25,000 to provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed services to families with children who have developmental disabilities or challenges through a peer-support model and services in English, Somali, Afghan and Arabic.
  • Logan Heights Community Development Corporation – $20,000 to reduce the number of youth who enter the juvenile justice system or re-offend while on probation.
  • Mending Matters – $25,000 to support a youth-led program that utilizes school-wide mental health needs assessments and existing school platforms to inform and share culturally responsive mental health resources that reflect the unique community’s identity, strengths and engagement styles.
  • Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County Inc. – $30,000 to provide mental health screening and referrals for children, ages 0 – 5, and their families participating in MAAC’s early education programs.
  • North County LGBTQ Resource Center – $25,000 to increase capacity to provide accessible, culturally expert, trauma-informed therapy for LGBTQ+ children and their loved ones.
  • Promises2Kids – $25,000 to support expanding screening and responsive treatment for mental health, trauma and behavioral health to current and former foster youth, ages 17 and up, who have birth children or younger siblings in their care.
  • San Diego American Indian Health Center – $30,000 to support the center’s behavioral health continuum including better-connecting youth and families in need of assistance to financial benefits programs, Native-centered behavioral health support and other trauma-informed care.
  • San Diego Center for Children – $30,000 to support mental health screenings for children to enhance access to care and referrals, a new program for Medi-Cal and foster youth, and expansion of its Intensive Family Services program.
  • San Diego Rescue Mission – $30,000 to support Mission Academy, a 12-month residential program that provides wrap-around services for homeless children and families.
  • San Diego Youth Services – $30,000 to support trauma-informed individual, family and group counseling services and to promote social justice-informed mental health education and stigma reduction for young people, ages 12 – 25, who have experienced homelessness, engagement with child welfare and/or justice systems, and are disconnected from school or employment.
  • Vincent de Paul Village Inc./Father Joe’s Villages – $30,000 to support its Therapeutic Childcare Center, a state-licensed child development center that provides childcare, academic support, child development activities, early intervention and behavioral health services to children and families experiencing homelessness.
  • Union of Pan Asian Communities – $30,000 to expand culturally responsive and trauma-informed care to Asian and Latino youth and their families who have mental health conditions.

According to the December 2020 report Roadmap for Resilience: The California Surgeon General’s Report on Adverse Childhood Experiences, Toxic Stress, and Health, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and trauma represent an urgent public health crisis with wide-reaching health and societal impacts.

Informed by this report, as well as by regional data and local stakeholders, mental and behavioral health challenges are recognized as important issues that impact many children, families and service providers that deliver care in San Diego County.

About San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation inspires enduring philanthropy and enables community solutions to improve the quality of life in our region. Our strategic priorities include advancing racial and social justice, fostering equity of opportunity, building resilient communities, and delivering world-class philanthropy to realize our vision of just, equitable and resilient communities. The Healthy Children and Families Initiative advances community resilience through health equity and increases the quality of life for children and families through expanded access to supportive services. For more than 47 years, SDF and its donors have granted more than $1.3 billion to support nonprofit organizations strengthening our community. Learn more at SDFoundation.org.


Lorena Nava Ruggero, San Diego Foundation, lruggero@sdfoundation.org, 619-814-1365