About Us

Children and Families First Initiative


It all started when…

The San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF) brings together City government, schools, and community based organizations to help our city’s children and youth, birth to age 24, and their families lead lives full of opportunity and happiness. We strive to make San Francisco a great place to grow up and this requires resources, collaboration, coordination, and creativity. Through our work we help children and youth to be:

  • Successful in school and prepared for the future

  • Engage in positive activities when school is out

  • Live in safe and supported communities.

The people of San Francisco made a unique, first of its kind commitment to our community in 1991 by creating the Children and Youth Fund and dedicating property tax revenues to fund vital services for our city’s children and youth, and their families. DCYF is committed to allocating those dollars to maximize impact, with approximately $94 million serving 402 programs across 165 agencies in fiscal year 2018-2019.

The service areas of DCYF funding are Educational Supports; Enrichment, Leadership and Skill Building; Justice Services; Mentorship; Out of School Time; Youth Workforce Development; Family Empowerment; and Outreach and Assess. Our investments are equitable and holistic, offering avenues to enhance learning, while simultaneously creating healthy family and community environments to support individual growth.

The DCYF grantmaking process and planning cycle is based on an extensive multi-year timeline, with multiple opportunities for community involvement along the way. Two key planning milestones include:

  • A Community Needs Assessment (CNA) that provides an update on the status of children, youth, and their families and service needs

  • The creation of a Services Allocation Plan, outlining how funds will be allocated to meet service needs outlined in the CNA.

Our purpose extends far beyond funding: we’re a strong voice at the heart of San Francisco’s commitment to children, youth, transitional age youth, and their families. We combine broad experience, creative thinking, and thoughtful decision making to improve access to services and make a measurable impact.

Bottom line: DCYF is Making San Francisco a Great Place to Grow Up!