Center Goes National to Solve Children's Health Issues, But Ends Up Local

From November 1997 through May 2003, the leadership of the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, a nonprofit public health organization, planned and implemented a national center to provide the public and policy-makers with science-based information on child health and development issues.

Named the Center for Child Well-being, this new entity also sought to collaborate with other health groups in building support for policies and programs that would bring about fundamental, long-term improvement in the condition of American children.

After its first two years of operation, staff at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which initiated the undertaking and was its sole supporter, believed the Center's accomplishments and plans did not warrant continued funding.

The Center decided to continue operating without RWJF funding.

Key Results

  • In its first two years of operation, the center initiated a number of research projects.

  • It commissioned development of an Internet-based communication system.

  • And it tried to engage other child health groups in cooperative ventures.

  • After RWJF announced its intention to discontinue funding, the center significantly reduced its staff and narrowed its focus to concentrate on developing an intervention aimed at reducing stress among low-income families.