The Family Innovations Stream invests in the work of grassroots groups delivering culturally anchored projects that empower and support parents, guardians and caregivers. Family Innovations projects will engage parents, guardians, and caregivers who face systemic barriers and challenges to family well-being. 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 (PGC’s) who are generating solutions to the most pressing issues facing families today. Check out the three Priority Outcomes that drive Youth Opportunity Fund (YOF) Family Innovations projects across Ontario.
- Supporting parents, guardians and caregivers to navigate and access resources for economic stability
- Supporting parents, guardians and caregivers to effectively navigate, access, and influence systems that affect family well-being
- Creating safe spaces for Indigenous and/or Black parents, guardians and caregivers to strengthen relationships, build strong community and cultural connections, and heal from trauma
TAKE NOTE! All projects funded through the Family Innovations Stream must advance one of the three Priority Outcomes.
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 parents, guardians and caregivers 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 parents, guardians and caregivers who face systemic barriers to wellbeing, including:
- Indigenous parents, guardians, and caregivers (i.e., First Nations, Métis, Inuit)
- Black parents, guardians, and caregivers
- Racialized parents, guardians, and caregivers
- Newcomer parents, guardians, and caregivers
- Francophone parents, guardians, and caregivers
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers and/or their children who are two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (2SLGBTQ+)
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers and/or their children living with disabilities or special needs
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers living in rural, remote and/or Northern communities
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers and/or their children in conflict or at risk of being in conflict with the law
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers at risk of contact or in contact with child welfare services
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers in low income situations
- Parents, guardian and caregivers who are homeless or at risk of being homeless
- Parents, guardians, and caregivers whose children are at-risk of dropping out or have dropped out of school.
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 parents, guardians and caregivers facing trauma to heal their relationships. The group is Indigenous-led and most of the core group members are 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 parents, guardians and caregivers with integration and systems navigation. The group made up of newcomer parents and caregivers provides culturally anchored navigational supports for newcomer parents 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 groups to test new ideas, strategize, or research in ways that are culturally anchored and will advance one Family Innovations Priority Outcome.||Allows groups to grow existing project that has demonstrated success in achieving one Family Innovations Priority Outcome|
|Profile of Applicants||For newer grassroots groups with at least one-year of experience delivering activities together and/or more established groups.||For more established grassroots 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 Youth 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.
Check out some YOF grantees leading change in their communities.
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 those parents, guardians and caregivers they will engage in project activities
- Have three or more core members
- Are an unincorporated group OR an incorporated non-profit 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 non-profit organization, charity, or First Nation that meets Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) eligibility criteria and will provide the group with financial accountability as well as administrative, project, and mentoring support. This means that if your EOI is shortlisted, your group must submit a signed OM-Grassroots Group Collaborative 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!
TAKE NOTE! OMs are able to partner with only one group applying to the Family or Youth Innovations Stream per year. Please keep that in mind as you explore finding the right organizational mentor for your project and group.
Sign up for pre-application supports
Log in or create a user profile in our application system
Complete the online EOI by 5 p.m. ET on October 14, 2020 closed
NOTE: All groups will receive news on the status of their EOI in mid-November 2020. Some EOIs will be shortlisted. Those groups will be invited to submit an OM – Grassroots Group Collaborative Agreement by December 16 and Grant Application in January.
Shortlisted groups: Confirm your OM and submit the OM – Grassroots Group Collaborative Agreement by December 16, 2020 to email@example.com
NOTE: From here, the YOF Team will verify your OM’s eligibility. In the situation where your proposed OM does not meet OTF eligibility, your group will be asked to select a new OM. In case your chosen OM is already matched with another grassroots group, you may be asked to select a new OM. In both cases, the YOF Team will support you through this process.
OMs of shortlisted groups: Apply to be an OM by December 16, 2020
Shortlisted groups: Complete the online Grant Application by 5 p.m. ET on January 13, 2021
NOTE: If your Grant Application is funded, your OM will sign and uphold the grant contract with OTF. All applicants will receive news on the status of their Grant Application in April 2021.