Catholic School-Community Agency Partnership In Action!

PCSLA and the Specialty Family Foundation joined together in 2018 to launch our Faith-Based Project, which enabled us to bring our Early Childhood System of Care to South LA Catholic churches and schools to provide children and families with much-needed services and support. Now, through the generosity of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the project has grown to seven South LA school sites.

Catholic Schools provide high-quality education to African American and Hispanic/Latino students who reside in disadvantaged, under-served Los Angeles communities. Parents will do everything they can to provide their children this valuable education, often foregoing critical needs due to limited resources. Parents look to their school communities for help but overwhelmed faculty cannot always provide immediate support to families in crisis. Catholic School-Community Agency Partnership is critical in this situation. Through collaboration, the families’ needs can be met, including housing, medical/dental, mental health, child care, food, diapers, legal, and more. This results in reduced stress and increased focus on education for the children. Partners for Children South LA’s Faith-Based Project is an example of effective Catholic School-Community Agency Partnership.

Typical nonprofit organizations use an isolated impact approach, where individual organizations invent independent solutions to major social problems. But this leads to duplication of efforts or even to organizations working at odds with one another. But large-scale social change comes from better cross-sector coordination rather than from isolated intervention of individual organizations. Partners for Children South LA serves as a backbone organization and uses a collective impact approach. Long-term partnerships are established between key service-delivery agencies from different sectors to support a common goal: improving access to high-quality healthcare, early education and family supports for the youngest and most vulnerable children in South Los Angeles.

Through our Faith-Based Project, Partners for Children South LA uses a holistic approach to care, bringing a fully-functional and proven System of Care to meet the needs of children and families. This allows the Catholic Schools to focus on what they do best: provide quality education to deserving children.

To learn more about our Faith-Based Project, please contact Jennifer Lara, PCSLA Special Projects Manager at jlara@wellchild.org or (323) 541-1600 Ext. 1017.