The Center for Strategic Public-Private Partnerships was launched in 2016, after the tragic death of a child from severe abuse spurred the County and philanthropy to get serious about cross-sector collaboration.

A Blue Ribbon Commission on child welfare reform recommended that the County pursue these partnerships as part of a series of strategies for improving services. The Center began as a three-year pilot project within the Office of Child Protection, with Southern California Grantmakers serving as a fiscal sponsor. In that time, we proved the model works, bringing investments of more than $5 million for innovations that changed lives.

In July 2018, the L.A. County Chief Executive Office issued a report assessing the Center’s work. It found that participants valued the Center and its impact on L.A. County children and families, and that stakeholders from both sectors felt the Center should continue to operate. The CEO recommended making the Center a permanent part of the County, maintaining the joint funding model and expanding its scope.

In its new form, the Center for Strategic Partnerships was directed to expand its scope beyond child welfare to include all Board Directed Priorities; however, because of its small size, it was also directed to find a “common thread” that would allow it to focus its efforts.

We do this by adhering to two core principles: First, that children, youth, and families should remain a focus. Second, an equity lens should guide the Center’s work, focusing its efforts on those who have been left behind, those facing the greatest barriers, and those most in need of support.