Child Welfare Grants – Focus on the Future
September 28, 2020

Child Welfare Grants – Focus on the Future

What We Look for: Child Welfare Grants

Introducing The Rees-Jones Foundation’s latest blog series, What We Look for. The new blog series will dig into what we look for when reviewing grant applications as well as offer helpful tips. Every month or so we’ll publish a new post from a different issue area that will include exclusive insight from our program officers.

This month we are focusing on grants related to Child Welfare. Keep in mind that these posts are generalities, and are not representative of all grants that fall into this funding category.

About Child Welfare

The Foundation works to alleviate conditions that are harmful to families or place children at risk of maltreatment by supporting organizations that provide prevention services, substitute care, and permanency options for children and youth.

The guiding principle of The Rees-Jones Foundation’s child welfare grant making is that the well-being of the child be prioritized above all else to ensure that each child affected by the child welfare system has opportunities to heal from his or her trauma, be raised by loving caregivers, and is able to safely and quickly exit to permanency. The Foundation supports organizations in North Texas with a proven track record of providing high-quality care to children in state conservatorship and for those children at risk of maltreatment.

The Foundation’s focus in child welfare is primarily:

  • Providing youth in substitute care with appropriate placements and services
  • Building community capacity at all stages of the system to care for youth who have been abused or neglected
  • Expanding placement options for youth with high needs
  • Supporting families and their children with evidence-based services that prevent child maltreatment


Focus on the Future

What is unique (and challenging) about providing support to children affected by the child welfare system is that it is ultimately a state system. However, there are two major governmental changes taking place that will encourage new opportunities for innovation in the foster care system. Because of this, it is recommended that a nonprofit applying for a grant from The Rees-Jones Foundation demonstrate how it comports with:

  1. Community-Based Care
  2. Family First Prevention Services Act

Although some provisions of the Family First Act have been delayed until 2021, the Foundation stresses the importance of organizations who seek funding to comply with all provisions laid out in FFPSA. Additionally, the phased implementation of Community-Based Care across the state is already underway in North Texas, therefore the Foundation strongly recommends that organizations consider how Community-Based Care will impact its work. The Foundation will not consider grant requests that directly oppose FFPSA and CBC.

Although the child welfare industry is heavily regulated by the state, the Foundation prioritizes organizations that are creative in approach while working within state mandates. The Foundation looks for organizations that provide kids in care with high-quality, catered services and placements.

Foundation Initiative: Increase Therapeutic Placements for Youth with “High Needs”

The Foundation prioritizes organizations that increase the number of family-based placements for children and youth in foster care that the State determines as “high needs”, which means that the child requires a higher level of care than his or her peers, such as therapy for a disability or health condition, or mental health counseling for behavioral management or trauma.

The Foundation is particularly interested in organizations that build these therapeutic placements in a family setting rather than an institution or group home (often called “congregate care”). Limiting the use of congregate care is a goal outlined in the Family First Prevention Services Act.

Foundation Priority: Increase Access to Mental Health Counseling for Youth

The Foundation prioritizes organizations that provide youth with mental health counseling and traditional and nontraditional therapy services. Organizations that utilize measurement-based care and trauma-informed care are preferable. Increasing access to mental health services is a goal outlined in the Family First Prevention Services Act.

Organizations that fall into the mental health category can include child advocacy centers that provide mental health counseling for children and youth who have experienced abuse or neglect. If a smaller child advocacy center can demonstrate that it is meeting a crucial need, such as counseling services, for children who have experienced abuse or neglect in its county – regardless of its size – The Foundation might be interested in providing support.

Foundation Priority: Preventative Services for Families

The Foundation strongly supports programs that prevent a child from experiencing abuse or neglect, and prevent families from becoming involved with CPS and the court system. Developing in-home parenting support services is a goal outlined in the Family First Prevention Services Act.

Hopefully this information is helpful as you begin to consider submitting a grant request to the Foundation. Please keep the Foundation’s eligibility requirements in mind. Organizations applying for funding must have a 501(c)3 nonprofit designation from the IRS. The Foundation’s focus is on organizations that serve the North Texas community. Organizations that operate internationally are asked to apply by invitation only. The Foundation only considers grants that fall into our areas of interest, which can be found here:

For more information about the grant making process, the online portal, or to preview the different types of applications and their questions, please visit our online Grantee Portal Help Guide, which is updated regularly.

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