In July 2002, the Foundation concluded a four-month long nationwide information gathering process intended to provide the basis of its grantmaking strategy. This comprehensive fact-finding program was designed to help the staff and Board solicit advice from many of the nation’s leading thinkers in the fields of child and family welfare and consisted of four key elements:
- Forty “Thinking Papers”
- Six Listening Circles
- Phone interviews with more than a dozen experts throughout the country
- An environmental scan of relevant private funder initiatives
Throughout its information gathering, the Foundation’s leaders sought to challenge common assumptions about healthy families and the factors that threaten them. The findings of this research are summarized below.
- Findings of Thinking Pieces (150kb)
Despite the disparate experiences and viewpoints of the many authors of the commissioned thinking pieces, several ideas and concepts appeared again and again in the papers. Marguerite Casey Foundation asked Imagio | J. Walter Thompson to summarize the findings of the 40 plus thinking pieces, and distill the best ways to support families.
- Listening Circle Report (278kb)
This report was commissioned from the T.L. Hill group to document the ideas generated at Marguerite Casey Foundation’s Listening Circle forums. The Listening Circle gatherings occurred in six cities across the nation and brought together a unique mixture of families, community leaders, state and city officials and activists, all of whom shared their insights on improving the lives of children, youth and families
At the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on October 18th, the Foundation released “Different Incomes, Common Dreams”, the most comprehensive study that looks at the attitudes of Americans, particularly low-income families’ attitudes, before and after Hurricane Katrina.Survey Findings