FAQ

EdRedesign is a field catalyst focused on providing support to our entire field of cradle-to-career place-based partnerships. The Stanford Social Innovation Review defines a field catalyst as an organization that focuses on the work of field building by (i) understanding the field and engaging system actors, (ii) strengthening the capacity of local collaborative action initiatives, (iii) making the work of collaborative action initiatives more visible, coherent, and robust, and (iv) catalyzing systems change. The Bridgespan Group defines a field catalyst as a highly effective type of intermediary or collaborative that works to mobilize and galvanize actors across a social-change movement, or field, to achieve a shared goal for equitable systems change.

EdRedesign provides catalytic support to the cradle-to-career, place-based field to drive systems-level change and open personalized pathways to opportunity. Cradle-to-career place-based partnerships between and among governmental agencies serving children, youth, and families, school systems, health care systems and providers, community- and faith-based organizations, philanthropies, and for-profit and not-for-profit businesses are gaining momentum across the country.

To support this growing field to drive transformational, systems-level change that serves the needs and talents of individual children and youth, our work focuses on:

  • talent development, 
  • actionable research, 
  • our Institute for Success Planning, and 
  • our By All Means collaborative action initiatives.

EdRedesign supports those working directly with children and families but does not provide direct services. EdRedesign is a field catalyst supporting the cradle-to-career place-based partnership field. EdRedesign works to support communities, place-based partnerships, and members of national networks and intermediaries who provide direct services to children and families.

Our team includes leaders with deep K-12 experience. We have worked as teachers, administrators, and state policy leaders.

We believe strategies to expand opportunities for children and youth have two critical components: place-based, cross-sector collaboration to remove structural barriers and open pathways to opportunity; and personalized, relationship-based supports, what we call Success Planning, for children and youth to reach their full potential. Place-based cross-sector collaboration amplifies the impact of local governmental and non-governmental systems (including K-12 education systems) and programs serving children.

In our By All Means network, we work with superintendents, mayors, and their community cross-sector teams to embrace a broader conception of education and youth development that includes school systems and other domains not typically considered part of the education system, such as health, housing, and out-of-school time programs.

In addition, in our Institute for Success Planning Communities of Practice, K-12 schools are often the point of entry for launching Success Planning initiatives.

Through our By All Means network and our Success Planning Communities of Practice, EdRedesign is supporting urban, suburban, and rural communities across the country that are employing cross-sector cradle-to-career collaborations and Success Planning.

SP 2023 Cohort Map

Place-based collaborative action initiatives bring together the people, organizations, and sectors needed to improve the lived experience and outcomes of young people and families in historically underserved neighborhoods, communities, cities, and counties. By bridging silos and driving collaborative action, a Children’s Cabinet aligns resources, closes programming gaps and reduces duplication, and prepares all children and young people to grow and thrive from birth to adulthood. At EdRedesign, our collaborative action work focuses on cross-sector collaborations among education, government, and community leaders striving to close achievement and opportunity gaps and to help children and youth thrive in school and in life. Learn more

Blue Meridian Partners defines place-based partnerships as efforts that combine forces across multiple sectors—such as government, community, and non-profit—to solve complex problems. The Urban Institute notes that place-based partnerships aim to improve quality of life and access to opportunity for people—particularly people of color and families with low incomes—who live in neighborhoods, cities, and rural communities experiencing disinvestment. Place-based partnerships are a critical and increasingly utilized approach to address our most pressing social and economic issues - from mitigating homelessness to improving education outcomes. Place-based partnerships are networks of people and organizations in the same geographic area who work together to change systems, improve community outcomes, and achieve shared goals. They eliminate structural inequities by using data and working with the community. At EdRedesign, our focus is on cradle-to-career place-based partnerships, which work to support children and youth from birth to adulthood.

Community-based backbone organizations provide the staffing and organizational support to effectively sustain collaborative action efforts and realize the systems-level transformations they seek. The backbone organization provides critical support to a community’s place-based partnership or other collaborative action initiative. The backbone organization of any particular collaborative action effort may take different forms depending on the local context. The Collective Impact Forum identifies six essential functions of a backbone organization: (i) guiding vision and strategy, (ii) supporting aligned activities, (iii) establishing shared measurement practices, (iv) cultivating community engagement and ownership; (v) advancing policy; and (vi) mobilizing resources.

A children’s cabinet brings government agencies and community stakeholders (such as the children’s hospital, United Way, or Boys and Girls Club) together to create a shared vision for kids in their community and then work collaboratively to make that vision a reality. By seamlessly coordinating the supports and services that the community provides, children’s cabinets address young people’s holistic needs as they grow and develop.

The long-term goal of all activities undertaken by children’s cabinets is to improve outcomes for children and youth, but the immediate goal of convening leaders is to improve their ability to collaborate. Developing common goals, sharing and comparing data, and addressing gaps or duplications in resources allows leaders in different systems (health care, human services, parks and recreation, schools, etc.) to craft better policies and decisions. These policies and decisions, in turn, allow the programs and services that they govern to have a greater impact on children and youth.

Success Planning is a relationship-based approach that connects each child or youth to an adult Navigator who co-creates a personalized plan for action in partnership with their families and other caring adults. The plan highlights the child’s needs and strengths and identifies supports, enrichments, and other resources to remove barriers, help them thrive, and support their goals. Through a whole-child approach, Success Planning provides a mechanism to ensure every child is known, seen, and heard, has a positive connection to a caring adult, and has agency over their pathway to success. Learn more

We believe that supports and opportunities need to be personalized to meet the goals and needs of each individual child and youth and that personalization must be relationship-based. Pairing children and youth with a caring adult Navigator and co-creating a personalized plan for action, Success Planning is a whole-child approach that provides a mechanism to ensure every child is known, seen, and heard, has a positive connection to a caring adult, and has agency over their pathway to success.

A Navigator is a caring adult who gets to know a child’s interests, goals, strengths, and needs and co-creates a personalized plan for action in partnership with their families and other caring adults. The plan highlights the child’s needs and strengths and identifies supports, enrichments, and other resources to remove barriers, help them thrive, and support their goals. Success Planning provides a mechanism to ensure every child is known, seen, and heard, has a positive connection to a caring adult Navigator, and has agency over their pathway to success.

Actionable research focuses on solutions. EdRedesign’s actionable research agenda serves to expand the evidence base for collaborative action and personalized supports and to meet the demand for resources driven by the growing momentum in our field. We measure and demonstrate impact to identify best practices and share them broadly to propel their adoption, and we develop resources, cases, and tools to inspire and support leaders, practitioners and policymakers looking to change systems and outcomes in their communities. Learn more