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PreK For All Roadmap takes a holistic approach to rolling out PreK For All

March 27, 2024

This is an article about rolling out Pre-K for all in Michgian. 

Worker Well-Being Is Community Well-Being: Why the Human Service Workforce Needs a Living Wage

March 22, 2024

Insufficient reimbursement rates and inadequate state contracts impact the health and human services sector at every level. Previous Illinois Partners for Human Service research provides insight into how workforce stability is impacted by deficient funding, but a critical piece has been missing in the discourse. "Worker Well-Being is Community Well-Being: Why the Human Services Workforce Needs a Living Wage" fills that void by presenting new data through a lens rooted in the broader social and fiscal issues that shape our economy and is framed by the voices and experiences of people working on the frontline of services.  

2023 Indiana Civic Health Index

January 23, 2024

This sixth edition of the Indiana Bar Foundation's Indiana Civic Health Index (INCHI) begins a new chapter in the decade of past research undertaken to explore Indiana's overall civic health. This report examines some of Indiana's successes and shortcomings during the past few years and continues to use this data to examine future opportunities for improvement in our collective civic health. In this latest INCHI we look at new data from the 2022 election cycle as well as additional data demonstrating other areas of our state's civic health as we look forward to the national elections in 2024. The insights gained by examining Hoosiers' participation in civic life from 2010 to the present will inform and motivate citizens and leaders alike to build a culture of civic engagement that enhances our economic, social, and political wellbeing.Building on the recommendations outlined in past INCHIs, the report details progress in advancing the goals of enhancing civic education in schools and promoting citizen participation in the election process, goals that are profoundly intertwined. Studies show a consistent and robust relationship between school experiences with voting education and civic participation later in life. As cornerstones of representative democracy, civic education and participation are crucial to advancing our civic health.The report incorporates earlier analyses and current data, examining additional measures of Indiana's civic activity, identifying areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. The 2023 INCHI is meant to further stimulate discussion and inspire a renewed commitment to advancing Indiana's civic health. Strengthening Hoosiers' civic health vitality will require a concerted effort of all stakeholders interested in supporting citizen participation in its many forms; the result will be a more vibrant, successful, and engaged Indiana and nation.

When She Ascends: State Pilot Report 2023

January 1, 2024

In 2021, The Ascend Fund launched a three-state pilot to increase the number of women serving in Michigan, Mississippi, and Washington legislatures. This effort was specifically intended to help the fund understand how to propel more women into leadership positions.This report is a summary of our key learnings from the multi-year effort. This report is designed as a resource not only for The Ascend Fund's current state partners but also for state and national organizations pursuing gender parity in politics across the country.

Threats From Political Minority Rule in Wisconsin and North Carolina

December 7, 2023

The United States has been on a long arc toward achieving a multiracial democracy that can effectively represent all Americans, including long-marginalized communities. Yet opponents of a more pluralistic democracy are erecting barriers at the federal and state levels designed to lock in political minority rule and slow the nation's progress. At the state level, this aggressive countermajoritarian movement can be seen most starkly in Wisconsin and North Carolina. Despite the fact these two states are divided almost 50-50 politically, their Republican-controlled legislatures are taking unprecedented steps to draw extreme partisan legislative maps to lock in political power, limit long-held authorities of governors, pass voter suppression and election sabotage laws, and steer state supreme courts toward preferred results.Breaking political norms to retrench political power is deeply unhealthy for the republic. However, structural reforms and other mechanisms can blunt these minority rule measures. These include banning partisan gerrymandering, establishing an affirmative legal right to vote, enacting nationwide federal standards that expand access to the ballot and thwart partisan election subversion, passing statewide ballot initiatives where that option exists, and creating a nonpartisan movement to help counter anti-democracy power grabs.

Minnesota's Early Childhood Educators: 2023 Statewide Study of the Demographics, Workforce Supports, and Professional Development Needs of the Early Care and Education Workforce

December 1, 2023

This report presents results of a survey and focus groups with Minnesota early childhood educators (ECE). It includes characteristics of the ECE workforce, assesses educators' economic well-being, and describes their motivations for participating in training and professional development opportunities.

Needs Assessment of Youth Mental Health and Well-being in Northeast Minnesota

December 1, 2023

This report presents the results of surveys and interviews with youth, caregivers of youth, and school staff. Topics include mental health services and resources, well-being, home environment, school environment and peer relationships, community environment, and more.

Election Budgeting: A Deeper Dive Into the Cost of State Elections

November 9, 2023

This report expands upon aspects of MIT's The Cost of Conducting Elections by looking at budgeting from the state and county budgeting perspective.The report covers how states and local governments choose to fund their elections, the role of private and public grants, and the differences between states and some of their counties. For this report, we parsed through the budgets of eight states, and within each of those states, two counties, for a total of 24 entities.The baseline funding of the elections systems of states and localities, while difficult to uncover and parse through, is available on public government websites or through public records requests filed with the appropriate parties.After a deep dive into the way these states and counties fund their elections, several themes emerged, but even more importantly, several big questions about what is next for the election system in our country.

Positioning & Prioritizing for People: 2022 Annual Report

October 26, 2023

Serving the community as a vibrant agency that has a positive impact on children, youth and families means continually assessing and refining UCAN's programs and operations. Like other non-profits, we know the critical importance of being flexible during and after a pandemic that required establishing and streamlining ways of communicating and engaging with each other and those we serve. In Fiscal Year 2022, that reality was a driving force behind our multi-pronged Strategic Direction that guided our work agencywide.The plan enabled us to revisit and refine our program structure and create three hubs that even more accurately define UCAN's evolution: Foster Care & Transitional Services; Therapeutic & Clinical Services; and Prevention & Empowerment Services. We know, however, that regardless of labels, our dedicated staff remain the change agents and dream facilitators for those who need and rely on UCAN's expertise. We are working with our funders, partners and peers to ensure that these three hubs smartly reflect our plan to further integrate our work that is the foundation of UCAN's Continuum of Care.

Community Violence Intervention in Chicago: Fall 2023 Report

October 26, 2023

Starting in 2016, with initial funding from the philanthropic sector, a handful of community violence intervention (CVI) organizations began serving individuals at high risk of shooting or being shot with a menu of services that include outreach, life coaching, trauma treatment, education and job training. Today, as public funding at the city, county and state level has increased, Chicago's CVI network has grown to more than two dozen organizations that are currently active in nearly half of Chicago's 77 communities, including all of those with the highest levels of gun violence. Collectively, they serve more than 3000 individuals, representing about 15-20 percent of the highest risk population.Comparing 2023 year-to-date to the same period of time in the peak year of 2021, shootings in most CVI communities are down. Many exceed the citywide decline.

IMPACT Report: Employment and Income Navigation Pilot Program

October 25, 2023

The Chicago Continuum of Care's (CoC) Employment and Income Task Force developed an intervention, the Employment and Income Navigation Pilot Program, to integrate employment navigators and SSI/SSDI SOAR advocates into the CoC'S Expedited Housing Initiative. The pilot has played a vital role in bringing together the workforce, homelessness, and disability benefits systems. To assess how the program was implemented during its 1st year, we conducted a comprehensive mixed methods evaluation using a combination of primary and secondary data sources. The evaluation brief provides valuable insights into the pilot program's impact and areas for improvement. Key findings revealed supporting jobseekers experiencing homelessness through employment navigators and SOAR advocates is of paramount importance. However, we also found communication obstacles, separate data systems, and the necessity of additional resources for sustainability. We formulated actionable recommendations to enhance the program's impact and offered guidance for future programs and evaluations.   

Ball Brothers Foundation 2022 Annual Report

October 17, 2023

When the Ball brothers chose to move their glass manufacturing business to Muncie, they made the lasting decision to invest in their new community. For nearly a century, Ball Brothers Foundation has been a witness to the powerful impact that philanthropy can have. In that time, we realized the importance of our continued commitment to serving our own community with place-based grantmaking. Place-based grantmaking is fundamental to Ball Brothers Foundation's mission, as it allows us to focus our funding in meaningful ways that honor the Ball family legacy. Focusing our giving in Muncie, Delaware County, and East Central Indiana–the areas where the Ball family lived and worked–creates long-term transformational impact that can be traced through the years.This year's report includes the following: first, a comprehensive guide to our funding focus areas and their local impact and, second, a supplemental insert highlighting financial information and grantees from 2022.