UWSF Pilot Sites

Five local United Ways and one State Association received grants ranging from $42,000-$55,000 for each of two years to integrate protective factors and family strengthening principles into their work.

Anchorage, AK.

The mission of United Way of Anchorage is to advance the common good by making lasting, measurable changes in community conditions that improve lives.

Community Description: The United Way of Anchorage serves a community of approximately 280,000 people (40 percent of the state’s population). Of this population, an estimated 75,000 are under the age of eighteen, with more than 20,000 under the age of five. The median income of households in the Municipality of Anchorage is $66,244. While overall about 9 percent of the population lives in poverty, the number for related children under eighteen is 12 percent. Additionally, 23 percent of families with a female householder and no husband present have incomes below the poverty level. Although 66 percent of the population is White non-Hispanic, 15 percent speak a language other than English at home, and more than 90 languages are represented in the Anchorage School District.
By convening and mobilizing community members and partners, planning strategically, leveraging resources and investing for results, the United Way of Anchorage seeks to achieve the goal that all children have a strong start in life, and enter school with the skills they need for success. United Way of Anchorage investments and efforts provide support to  parents of children 0-5; promote quality early care and learning programs; encourage early childhood social, emotional and literacy skill development; and provide early intervention for developmental issues.
UWSF Work: UWSF in Anchorage centered on partnering with early childhood initiatives, incorporating the protective factors into the grant structures, and utilizing community cafés as ways to develop the protective factors in families.


Atlanta, GA.

UWMA seeks to address the needs of the underserved to drive sustainable change in income, education, health and homelessness while continuing to address urgent and basic human care issues.

Community Description: United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta serves 4.1 million people in the 13-county metro region. As of the 2008 United States Census, the city of Atlanta had a population of 537,958, an increase of 28% from the 2000 census. According to census estimates, Metropolitan Atlanta is the fastest growing area in the nation since 2000 by numerical increase. According to the 2000 United States Census (revised in 2004), Atlanta has the twelfth highest proportion of single-person households nationwide among cities of 100,000 or more residents, which was at 38.5%. The median income for a household in the city was $51,482 and the median income for a family was $55,939. About 22.7% of the population and 21.3% of families lived below the poverty line. Approximately 20 % of children in Georgia are living in poverty.
UWMA supports more than 400 programs in the metropolitan area through annual fundraising efforts, and during the 2008-2009 Campaign, raised more than $80M, including more than $3.7M for a Critical Needs Campaign.  One of UWMA’s major achievements is the formation of the Regional Commission on Homelessness (RCOH) with a bold goal to end chronic homelessness in metropolitan Atlanta by 2013. Through the Community Impact Agenda, investments are made in the following priorities: early learning, hard-working families, people at risk, and youth.  Based on donations, volunteers awarded Community Impact Fund grants to 379 programs, from 205 nonprofit organizations, that align with the mission across our 13-county region.
Of the more than 5,000 licensed/registered childcare providers in metropolitan Atlanta, only 234 centers and 42 family child providers are nationally accredited. Some 46% of kindergarteners come to school at-risk for failure.  Low-income children begin one to two years behind. Through education programs supported by United Way, early education partnerships have been developed that extend United Way's work into the broader community.

UWSF Work: UWSF at UWMA centered on developing trainers to take SF concepts to a broad community of early childhood providers, as well as integrating the initiative into its human resources work through Matching Atlantans with Programs and Service (MAPS).


Brownsville, TX.

United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of community. United Way of Southern Cameron County is the leader delivering collaborative solutions for a healthy, thriving community.

Community Description. United Way of Southern Cameron County serves 4 municipalities including Brownsville, Port Isabel, South Padre Island and Los Fresnos. The operating staff of six FTE personnel serves approximately 380,000 with 126,580 of those being children. Eighty-six percent of the people in Cameron County are Hispanic and thirteen percent are White non-Hispanic. Among people at least five years old living in Cameron County from 2005-2007, 74 percent spoke a language other than English at home. Cameron County is one of the poorest counties in the nation with a median income of $26,155 and 47% of its children living at or below poverty according to the US Census 2006 Community Survey. The United Way of Southern Cameron County raises $1.3 million dollars in its annual campaign.

UWSC focuses its efforts on three major priority areas:

    • School readiness
    • Academic achievement in math and reading for elementary school children
    • On-time high school completion
    • Access to health care
    • Reduction in risky behaviors of children or adults
    • Improved health and fitness
    • Crisis resolution and self sufficiency
    • Increased income and savings
    • Asset attainment
UWSF Work: United Way of Southern Cameron County is introducing Strengthening Families to the community; Texas is not yet part of the Strengthening Families National Network. They have begun training with early childhood providers and with other family support and social service agencies. Additionally, Cameron County continues to work with 2-1-1 to ensure that services for at-risk families are easily identified and accessible. Because such a large proportion of their constituency is bilingual and possesses marginal literacy skills, Cameron County is focusing on developing appropriate materials for this population to disseminate throughout the UW system. United Way of Southern Cameron County integrated the protective factors with Success by Six and Born Learning, worked with pediatricians to increase developmental screenings (and knowledge of child development), and incorporated the protective factors into their 2-1-1 resource directory.


High Point, NC

The United Way of Greater High Point develops resources and partnerships that make a measurable difference in people’s lives.

Community Description: The United Way of Greater High Point serves the areas of High Point, and Jamestown in Guilford County and the cities of Archdale and Trinity, in Randolph County.  In the estimated population of 98,000, 91% were native, including 57 % who were born in North Carolina. The median income of households in High Point City was $42,945. From 2005-2007, 17 percent of people lived in poverty. Twenty-six percent of related children under 18 were below the poverty level, compared with 11 percent of people 65 years old and over. Thirteen percent of all families and 33 percent of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level.
UWGHP’s Children’s Initiatives (CI) is a leading advocate for all children, families, and caregivers in the community. CI is committed to education, advocacy, and public policy that raises awareness about the critical importance  of high quality early care and education, and to help ensure resources are available in the community to give all children the opportunities the need to be successful. Prior to SFU, the Children’s Initiatives Committee of the UWGHP envisioned its role as a convener of partnerships to help children. They sought to be a neutral party that was not aggressively seeking other agencies’ funding sources or prestige. UWGHP Children’s Initiatives is focused on education—to educate, empower, and advocate for parents and caregivers to be responsible for the education of their children.

  1. All children have the opportunity to enter school mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially ready to learn –Increase School Readiness
  2. All youth stay engaged in school-Lower the Drop-Out rate
  3. All youth graduate adequately prepared to succeed in life-Increase the Graduation Rate.

UWSF Work: In High Point, UWSF centered on the development of family support materials, the implementation of Community Cafes, and the integration of protective factor training into 2-1-1 training.


San Antonio, TX

Community Description: The total population of the area served by United Way of San Antonio is 1,351,305. The median income of households in San Antonio is $42,261. In 2008, 75.1 percent of people 25 years and over had at least graduated from high school and 21.6 percent had a bachelor's degree or higher. Nineteen percent of people were living in poverty, with 22.3 percent of those people being Hispanic, 10.8 percent white, 30.9 percent black and 30.9 percent other races or two or more races.  As of October 2009, the unemployment rate in San Antonio was 6.6 percent and 8.1 percent unemployment for Texas.

The United Way of San Antonio, Texas has staffing of 1 FTE Director; one FTE Associate Director; and an intern dedicated to the Children’s Issue Council.  The Children’s Issues Council is one of 3 Community Impact Councils created by the San Antonio United Way. The Council is composed of a mix of corporate executives and executive directors of service organizations. Most are not typically on the “front lines” of dealing with child abuse and neglect. The Successful Children’s Issue Council of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County spent more than 18 months carefully reviewing community data, existing services and initiatives, and best practices to select its top three priorities for community impact work and corresponding work plan for implementation.

UWSF Work: took the form of integrating the 5 protective factors into their funding criteria, as well as several community provider trainings.


Washington State.

Community Description. Washington has a total population of 6.4 million, 3.2 million (50 percent) females and 3.2 million (50 percent) males. Twenty-four percent of the population is under 18 years. The median income of households in Washington is $53,940. From 2005-2007, 12 percent of people were living in poverty. Fifteen percent of related children under 18 were below the poverty level. Eight percent of all families and 26 percent of families with a female householder and no husband present had incomes below the poverty level. Seventy-six percent of the people in Washington are White non-Hispanic. Among people at least five years old living in Washington from 2005-2007, 16 percent spoke a language other than English at home. Of that 16 percent, 43 percent spoke Spanish and 57 percent spoke some other language.

United Way Washington is a statewide association of local United Ways.  UWWA is the only statewide association awarded a Strengthening Families United grant.  Three strategies were pursued as part of the grant: 1) Funding for local United Ways to sponsor Community Cafés; 2) Development and piloting of an orientation to Strengthening Families Protective Factors for 211 call center staff and 3) Development and piloting of a workshop for local United Ways to integrate the Strengthening Families Protective Factors framework into grant making. They also serve on the Strengthening Families Washington Steering Committee, which is hosted by the Washington State Council for Children and Families, and funded coordination of the Committee for 11 months.

UWSF Work: United Way Washington is a statewide association of local United Ways that worked with community cafés and integrating the protective factors into 2-1-1 and providing 2-1-1 call center staff with SF orientations.