A Letter from our Executive Director

Community Needs Assessment

On the behalf of the Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF), I am pleased to present our 2022 Community Needs Assessment (CNA). As the first phase of our planning cycle the CNA is the foundation of our efforts to ensure that high need children, youth, disconnected transitional age youth (TAY), and their families can benefit from services and programming supported by DCYF. It is the way that we hear directly from our communities to understand their needs and to shed light on the disparities that affect their lives.

Normally DCYF would complete the CNA during the third year of our funding cycle but as we know the last two years have been anything but normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread and long lasting impacts on the lives of children, youth, TAY, and their families in San Francisco. While our data collection efforts began before the pandemic, gathering perspectives and experiences about its impacts became a crucial part of our methodology as the Shelter in Place order was enacted and our process paused. We are extremely grateful for the assistance we received from our grantees and other service providers throughout the process in connecting us with children, youth, TAY, and their families from across the City using the methods and venues available to us.

Our data collection efforts have clearly shown that the impacts of the pandemic have not been experienced equally. If anything, the pandemic has made existing inequities worse especially for low-income households with children, a group that includes a disproportionately large number of people of color. Whether it’s ongoing challenges to economic security, growing need for mental health supports, the continued effects of distance learning, threats to physical safety caused by anti Asian and anti-Black violence or the many other ways that the pandemic has impacted our communities, it’s clear that DCYF and our City partners have a lot of work to do.

DCYF is ready to do the work to address the needs and disparities affecting our City’s children, youth, TAY and their families, including those exacerbated by the pandemic. The second phase of our planning cycle is the Services Allocation Plan (SAP) where we will allocate the Children & Youth Fund to address the needs and disparities highlighted by the CNA. Our 2023 SAP will be developed in collaboration with our City and SFUSD partners so that we can align and coordinate our efforts. We will follow the SAP with our Request for Proposals, the last phase of our planning cycle. This competitive funding process is the way that DCYF selects nonprofit community-based organizations (CBOs) with the experience, expertise and cultural competency to provide services that address the needs and disparities highlighted in the CNA.

The 2022 Community Needs Assessment is not just a part of our planning cycle it’s also a call to action for DCYF to focus on what is truly needed for children, youth, TAY and their families to lead lives full of opportunity and happiness. I hope you find the 2022 CNA to be informative and useful and I look forward to using it as the foundation of our efforts to make San Francisco a great place to grow up.

In Community,

Maria Su, Psy.D.