Community Needs Assessment (CNA)


What is the Community Needs Assessment?

The Children and Youth Fund is San Franciscans’ collective investment in our young people and their families. At DCYF, we are committed to leveraging these resources according to the will of the people and the greatest need in our City. Every five years, we engage young people, parents and service providers in a Community Needs Assessment (CNA) to guide what services we need to realize the vision of the Fund. The data collected in the CNA through interviews, focus groups, surveys and other outreach mechanisms, as well as an equity analysis focusing on low-income neighborhoods and disadvantaged communities, informs the development of a citywide action plan (the Services Allocation Plan, or SAP) and strategic funding priorities, which are in turn operationalized in a Request for Proposals (RFP).

The Community Needs Assessment process is not just an obligation for DCYF. It is an opportunity to devote time and energy towards listening to community members; understanding the strengths and challenges facing San Francisco children, youth and families; and lifting these voices to amplify their impact. DCYF will focus its energy on meeting San Franciscans in their communities, bringing the agency out of its offices and into local communities to experience and deeply understand the needs of children, youth and families. The CNA will also leverage interdepartmental partnerships between DCYF and other San Francisco departments and agencies in order to better learn from these communities.


How can I participate?

Make your voice heard! The success of the Children and Youth Fund depends on the input of all San Franciscans. We want to hear from every community in the City so we can know as accurately as possible what it’s like to grow up in San Francisco. Here are some ways you can contribute to the Community Needs Assessment and steer the course of the Children and Youth Fund:

  • Attend a We are the City Family Summit in your district. Find a meeting in your neighborhood in the schedule below!

  • Connect with DCYF at Sunday Streets or another event in the community.

  • Follow updates in the CNA including videos, interviews and reports on this page and on DCYF’s social media!

For more information on this process, read our CNA Plan:

2019-2021 CNA Schedule

We are the City: Family Summits

Help make San Francisco a great place to grow up by sharing your voice and your experiences. In the Fall 2019, DCYF will host a Family Summit in your district for community member to decide, determine and dialogue about how San Francisco will support children, youth and their families. Food, childcare, language access and family fun will be provided. Find your District here.

Event Date Time Location Neighborhood Media
District 1 Family Summit Saturday, October 26, 2019 12PM-2PM Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Ave Richmond Available after summit
District 2 Family Summit TBD TBD TBD Marina Available after summit
District 3 Family Summit Thursday, October 24, 2019 6PM-8PM Betty Ann Ong Recreation Center, 1199 Mason St Chinatown Available after summit
District 4 Family Summit Saturday, November 2, 2019 12PM-2PM Abraham Lincoln High School, 2162 24th Ave Sunset Available after summit
District 5 Family Summit Saturday, December 7, 2019 12PM-2PM TBD Fillmore Available after summit
District 6 Family Summit Saturday, November 6, 2019 12PM-2PM Gene Friend SOMA Recreation Center, 270 6th St South of Market Available after summit
District 7 Family Summit Wednesday, October 23, 2019 6PM-8PM Commodore Sloat Elementary School, 50 Darien Way West of Twin Peaks Available after summit
District 8 Family Summit Thursday, October 17, 2019 6PM-8PM Sanchez Elementary School, 325 Sanchez St Castro Available after summit
District 9 Family Summit Saturday, November 16, 2019 12PM-2PM Mission Arts Center, 45 Treat Ave Mission Available after summit
District 10 Family Summit Saturday, November 9, 2019 12PM-2PM Bayview Opera House, 4705 3rd St Bayview Available after summit
District 11 Family Summit Saturday, October 12, 2019 12PM-2PM Crocker Amazon Clubhouse, 799 Moscow St Crocker-Amazon Available after summit

The guiding principles of the CNA are research, community voices, and equity.

noun_Magnifying Glass_367855.png


  • Incorporate research and findings from other City departments and local organizations.

  • Use high-quality data sources and conduct tailored analysis.

  • Engage experts to conduct impartial qualitative data collection.


Community Voices

  • Conduct targeted and meaningful outreach and engagement throughout the city to listen and gather input from community stakeholders with attention to each district, to our CBO community, and to youth voices.

  • Use creative outreach and participatory methods to allow for authentic and empowered community participation.

  • Listen to and amplify community voices through digital storytelling, contextualizing data with first person narratives representing community strengths, needs, and unique challenges.



  • Identify populations facing concentrated need for priority outreach and engagement in process.

  • Disaggregate data by race/ethnicity wherever possible.

  • Analyze current investments with an equity lens.

  • Document strengths and needs faced by local communities to inform equitable allocation of DCYF funds.

  • Provide a range of opportunities in various formats for community members to provide input on the strengths and needs of local communities and priority populations.

  • Ensure that these different opportunities are accessible by non-English speaking community members, working parents, parents with small children, and other community members who may otherwise face barriers to participation.


CNA Resources

Access additional documents related to the Community Needs Assessment, including the 2015-16 CNA: