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). Learn more about our five year planning cycle.

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. Let us know of any community contacts, meetings or events, or data resources that can best help us understand the needs of San Franciscans by filling out the survey below:


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.

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


We Are The City Family Summits

In Fall 2019, DCYF is hosting our Family Summit series across all of San Francisco’s district neighborhoods. This is our chance to listen and learn directly from our young people and their families for the CNA. We invite community members to share your personal stories, perspectives and experiences to help play a critical role in our five year planning process. This dialogue will help guide how the City will support children, youth & their families. Food, childcare, interpretation & family fun will be provided!


District 1 Family Summit


Saturday, October 26, 2019

District 2 Family Summit

District 3 Family Summit

District 4 Family Summit

District 5 Family Summit

District 6 Family Summit

Saturday, November 23, 2019

District 7 Family Summit

District 8 Family Summit

District 9 Family Summit

District 10 Family Summit

District 11 Family 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: