Strengthening the Domestic Violence Field in California

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In 2010, domestic violence (DV) service organizations in California faced considerable economic and political upheaval. One of the most significant DV public funding programs in California was cut, thus forcing agencies to close or lay off staff and mobilize emergency fundraising and advocacy campaigns. The DV field was at a critical juncture, with both challenges and opportunities for moving forward. Additional challenges included a sense of isolation, increasing executive transitions, and the more complex needs of diverse populations experiencing DV in California.

In response, in 2010, Blue Shield of California Foundation (BSCF) launched the Strong Field Project (SFP). This initiative is a four-year, multi-million dollar statewide, collaborative effort to build a strong, coordinated network of DV service providers in California. The SFP has a three-pronged approach:

  1. Leadership development program
  2. Organizational strengthening grants
  3. Network building and knowledge sharing

BSCF engaged SPR to assess the SFP’s impact and contributions to strengthening the DV field. In this report, we look at how the contours of the California DV landscape have changed since the SFP’s inception, and how the SFP continues to impact the individual, organizational, and field levels.

SPR used various methods to assess progress towards the major SFP outcomes. These included interviews with 78 SFP stakeholders; a survey administered to participants, alumni, and field leaders; and information gathered from training evaluations, observations, and document review.

Download the Executive Summary of the evaluation report here.