The Family Innovations Stream invests in the work of grassroots groups delivering culturally anchored projects that empower, support, and strengthen families. Family Innovations projects will engage parents, guardians, and caregivers who face systemic barriers and challenges to family wellbeing. Through this stream, the Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) provides families with the resources needed to thrive.
What are the changes YOF is investing in?
The Family Innovations Stream invests in the work of parents, guardians and caregivers who are generating solutions to the most pressing issues facing families today. Check out the four Priority Outcomes that drive Youth Opportunities Fund (YOF) Family Innovations projects across Ontario.
- Helping families facing conflict and trauma to heal and strengthen their relationships
- Supporting families with integration and systems navigation
- Supporting families facing systemic barriers to access social and financial supports
- Supporting families to exit poverty
TAKE NOTE! All projects funded through the Family Innovations Stream must advance one Priority Outcome.
Who’s leading the change?
YOF believes in the value of grassroots leadership in developing solutions and delivering projects that positively impact communities across Ontario. YOF believes that shared identities and experiences are critical to effective grassroots work that responds to and recognizes the assets, needs, strengths, skills and experiences of families facing systemic barriers.
Family Innovations projects benefit families that face systemic barriers to wellbeing. We recognize that some families experience exclusion and face complex challenges, including racism, poverty, trauma, and mental wellbeing. These barriers make it that much harder to navigate systems, access opportunities, and experience economic and social wellbeing.
YOF is committed to investing in projects led by and for families who face systemic barriers to wellbeing, including:
- Indigenous families (i.e., First Nations, Métis and/or Inuit)
- Black/Afro-diasporic/Afro-Caribbean and/or Afro-Latinx families
- Racialized (other than Black) families
- Newcomer families
- Francophone families
- Families that have members who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two-spirit, queer (LGBTTQ+)
- Families at risk of contact with child welfare services
- Families with members living with disabilities or special needs
- Families living in rural, remote and/or Northern communities
- Families with low income
- Families with members in conflict or at risk of conflict with the law
Here are some examples of projects that are aligned to a Priority Outcome and serve parents, guardians and caregivers listed in YOF’s priority populations:
- A group has selected the outcome that focuses on supporting families facing conflict and trauma to heal their relationships. The group is Indigenous-led and most of the core group members have parents who are residential school survivors. The group has been supporting families to heal from trauma by connecting parents and children back to the land, their language, ceremonies and Elders.
- A group has selected the outcome that focuses on supporting families with integration and systems navigation. The group, made up of newcomer parents and caregivers provides culturally anchored navigational supports for newcomer families arriving from Somalia. Their work addresses the same challenges and issues that core group members faced when they first came to Canada.
The Family Innovations Stream has two types of grants to choose from. Learn more to see which grant might be the right one for your project.
|Granting Purpose||Allows grassroots groups to research, strategize or test new ideas that will advance a YOF Priority Outcome.||Supports grassroots groups to grow an existing project that has demonstrated success in achieving one YOF Priority Outcome.|
|Profile of Applicants||Newly formed groups, and more established groups.||Groups that have already delivered core project activities over a two-year period. You should also be able to demonstrate the success of the model you are looking to scale.|
|Types of Projects||
|Amount||up to $85,000 per year||up to $125,000 per year|
|Term||1 to 3 years||3 to 4 years|
TAKE NOTE! The YOF Family Innovations Stream does not fund any capital projects (including renovations, repairs and/or new buildings). For these types of initiatives, see the Ontario Trillium Foundation Investment Strategy.
The Family Innovations Stream invests in the work of grassroots groups delivering culturally anchored projects that empower, support, and strengthen families.
Grassroots work is about community-led and community-inspired work. Shared identities and lived experiences between the parents, guardians and caregivers delivering the project and those who will benefit from the project is essential to our understanding of ‘grassroots’.
Groups eligible to apply to the Family Innovations Stream:
- Are led by parents, guardians and caregivers who share identities and experiences with the families they will engage in project activities.
- Have three or more core members.
- Are an unincorporated group OR an incorporated nonprofit organization with independently managed revenues no higher than $50,000 in either of the last two years. Registered charities are not eligible to apply to the YOF Family Innovations Stream.
- Are based in Ontario.
Not sure if you are eligible? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
TAKE NOTE! If approved for funding, Family Innovations groups must work with an organizational mentor (OM). An OM is an incorporated nonprofit organization, charity, or First Nation that meets Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) eligibility criteria and will provide the groups with financial accountability, as well as administrative and mentoring support. This means that if your EOI is shortlisted, your group must submit a signed OM Agreement as part of your completed Grant Application. Your project cannot receive funding until OTF determines that your OM is eligible. If your Grant Application is funded, your OM will sign and uphold the grant contract with OTF. At any point in the process, ask your OM to reach out to us and we can guide them on next steps!
Sign up for pre-application supports via the OTF Calendar of Events
Access the EOI and supporting documents from the YOF Resources
Complete and submit the EOI to YOF by 5 p.m. ET on November 6, 2019
NOTE: All groups will receive news on the status of their EOI in December 2019. Some EOIs will be shortlisted. Those groups will be invited to submit a Grant Application.
Shortlisted groups: Confirm your OM and complete the OM Agreement
The proposed OM registers with OTF
Complete the Grant Application by 5 p.m. EST on January 22, 2020
NOTE: All applicants will receive news on the status of their Grant Application in April 2020.