November 7, 2023
Caring for Colorado’s purpose is to create equity in health, well-being and opportunity for Colorado’s children and families. Our partners help us achieve our vision and we value listening to your perspectives to inform our strategic planning processes.
Where we’ve been
When the foundation was established in 1999, our work was focused on improving access to health care for uninsured populations. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Colorado began to experience dramatic growth in its healthcare safety net and significant improvements in health insurance rates. By 2016, grant requests to Caring for Colorado were increasingly focused on prevention and aimed at meeting the needs of children, youth and families.
By 2018, we felt it was time to revisit our strategic priorities as an organization. After conducting 25 community conversations across Colorado, followed by and an online survey with more than 1,000 responses, it became clear that investments, services and support for children, youth and families in Colorado were sorely lacking, especially for those furthest from opportunity. As we learned more about the issues surrounding young people in our state, as well as the many efforts to change systems, services and mindsets that improve the lives of children, youth and families, we knew it was time to shift course and deepen our focus on the health and well-being of children and youth, while also working to strengthen the family unit.
In 2019, informed by community insight, health data and past grantmaking, the Caring for Colorado Board approved a new vision and mission and announced a five-year strategic funding framework. With the new mission to create equity in health, well-being, and opportunity for Colorado’s children and families, the foundation launched funding opportunities in January 2020 with four areas of focus: Healthy Beginnings, Healthy Youth, Strong and Resilient Families, and Public Policy Advocacy. In the last four years, Caring for Colorado has invested $55.6 million in Colorado communities and awarded 1,013 grants.
Where we’re going
As we embark on the final year of our current strategic plan, we remain steadfast in our pursuit to support the healthy development of all Colorado kids while working to make sure we have the systems, policies and environments that make Colorado the best state in the nation to raise a child.
Going forward, our core purpose will remain unchanged. However, we recognize that Colorado communities have navigated unprecedented challenges, and the needs of young people and their families have evolved since Caring for Colorado identified new funding priorities in 2019.
Today and continuing through next summer, Caring for Colorado will spend time listening and learning from community members that serve young people and their families. Through this outreach, our staff and board will consider how the foundation can direct its resources to substantially improve conditions that ensure the optimal development of Colorado’s children, youth and their families.
We want to hear from you
To kick off our listening and learning, Caring for Colorado will host 14 virtual sessions focused on hearing from individuals who work with adolescents in the fields of health and well-being. This includes health professionals, out-of-school time providers and educators, amongst others. We are especially interested in learning more about the needs of adolescents and their families given the increased rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and violence among young people in our state.
The listening sessions are focused by region to help us identify themes unique to each area of the state. Click the button to register for your region’s listening session. Space is limited and registration closes on November 24.
Please indicate on the registration form if you are unable to attend the designated session and we will send you a link to an online survey.
Continue to follow our newsletter for more information about what we are learning and for opportunities to share your perspective. We look forward to sharing more on our updated strategic focus in summer 2024.