March 1, 2016
Central Valley, CA— The California Adolescent Health Collaborative (CAHC), a program of the Public Health Institute, today announced the receipt of a five-year, $7 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The implementation of the grant will focus primarily on equipping rural youth ages 16-24 in Merced and Stanislaus Counties in California’s Central Valley with tools and education to pursue healthy relationships and to open economic pathways for their future.
“Young adults here want and deserve to build positive and healthy relationships with their intimate partners,” said Alison Chopel, CAHC’s Director. “This will help them do that—and ultimately, it will create lasting change for low-income families in the Central Valley.”
The Healthy Marriage and Relationship Education grant will provide healthy relationship education, youth leadership development, job training, case management and support services to youth with the aim of improving the social, economic, and health well-being of Central Valley youth. The new partnership has three main goals: improved healthy relationship and marriage skills and family functioning, progress toward greater economic stability for low-income participants through job trainings, and the successful transition between youth and adulthood.
“For years, CAHC has been working statewide to bring down the barriers to adolescent wellness by bringing everyone to the table—from young people to juvenile justice to local businesses,” said Chopel. “Our experience connecting unlikely partners will help us build a collaborative partnership here in the Valley that will make for a stronger, healthier community.”
The Central Valley is a region characterized by socio-economic disparities. It is one of the richest agricultural regions in the world, yet it has one of the highest concentrations of poverty in the United States. According to census data, 20.3 percent of Stanislaus’ population and 25.4 percent of Merced’s live below the poverty level. Children are the largest group living below the poverty line, at 31 percent and 37.2 percent respectively.
The implementation process will be monitored and consistently evaluated by the Alliance for Community Research and Development.
CAHC, a program of the Public Health Institute, is a public-private statewide coalition of individuals and organizations that works to increase understanding and support of adolescent health and well-being in California. CAHC provides convenings, trainings, technical assistance and education, resource and data dissemination, and advocacy on policies related to adolescent health. To learn more, visit www.californiateenhealth.org.